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However, Gautschi store image, the concept has received much attention yet concluded that image-related dimensions contrib- is not universally defined. Conse- considered an integral part of the consumer decision quently, alternative frameworks for investigating retail making process.
Early research acknowledged the influ- area patronage emerged. More recently, Kelly and Stephenson, ; Kunkel and Berry, ; Finn and Louviere found retail area image to be Martineau, Where consumers have little experi- a significant determinant of area consideration and ence with a particular product, store, or environment, choice. Within this literature, however, little has been provided. Notably absent from most retail area studies are situations and stimuli that individuals experience in a re- multidimensional perspectives of retail area image.
With tail environment. Similarly, the environment in which some exceptions Hauser and Koppelman, ; Nevin a physical good is sold may communicate to consumers and Houston, most have employed a limited range the value of a particular product or encourage immediate of potential image dimensions. A multidimensional ap- download. Functional qualities include While the Huff gravity model has provided some the- elements such as price ranges, merchandise selection and oretical and methodological consistency for retail area variety, and store layout.
Such ment. Research in the area of environmental psychology responses might include; feelings of excitement, warmth, provides an alternative approach for examining these displeasure, and arousal. The image that consumers effects. More specifically, the Mehrabian—Russell develop to characterise the retail area results from a com- approach considers emotional mediators of the environ- bination of the more salient of these functional and ment—behaviour relationship.
Given its successful use in psychological qualities. It is likely that the important studies of retail store decision making Baker, et al. This is to say that certain image shop signage and exterior design Ward et al. Accordingly, the important effects on store patronage decisions Baker et development of a consistent taxonomy of image dimen- al. If, as suggested, image can affect consumer behaviour, Some broad themes, however, have appeared in the the task is to develop a framework with which to study literature in recent years.
Both the retail area and retail such effects. Although several studies have attempted to store literatures were consulted to improve the variety explore the effects of specific environmental stimuli on and scope of variables considered within the model. The Mehrabian—Russell model ance, and atmosphere of stores Baker et al.
Consumers are social environment and its effects on human behaviour, likely to adopt an holistic approach in evaluating in- feelings and interactions. Research in environmental psy- traurban retail areas. Their patronage decision will be chology has produced a body of literature dealing with a function of a broad range of influences. Adopting cognitive and affective variables as mediators of environ- a multidimensional concept of retail area image more mental stimuli and behaviour.
Notably, Mehrabian and closely reflects this decision making process. Such variables, appropriately modified for a study vironmental psychology has treated emotional responses of retail area patronage behaviour, provide direction for as the outcome of environmental stimuli, this model developing a more complete taxonomy of retail area treats such emotional outcomes as mediating variables image dimensions. The model accommodates two basic concerns of extend traditional measures to include physical attract- environmental psychology, namely: what is the effect of iveness of the area as a component of image.
Previous physical stimuli on human emotions? The inclusion of ; however, the same research criticises the model for this variable is a reasonable extension of previous work its lack of a parsimonious taxonomy of environmental which has revealed relationships between consumer be- stimuli. This is due largely to the multitude of potential haviour and physical attractiveness of stores Darden stimuli involved in an environmental setting and the et al.
Mehrabian and Russell approach to environmental psychology. Measures a powerful determinant of approach—avoidance behav- iours including spending in a retail store context. Independent variables The environmental stimuli in the current study were 2.
Dependent variable based on the following image factors: the fashionability The dependent variable of the Mehrabian and Russell of the merchandise in the shopping area including qual- model is behaviour, conceptualised dichotomously ity, and assortment dimensions , levels of customer ser- as approach and avoidance.
Approach—avoidance beha- vice, the visual amenity of the shopping area, its conveni- viours include the extent to which individuals are ence including parking, opening hours, and location , motivated to move toward approach or away from the quality and variety of stores, and perceived price avoidance environments, or people and activities fairness within the area.
These were selected from a range associated with the environment. Approach-avoidance of the most frequently employed image dimensions used behaviour can include verbally expressed attitudes and to predict retail store and retail area shopping behaviour preferences.
These dimensions of behaviour are appropri- Doyle and Fenwick , ; Gentry and Burns, , ate for describing behaviours in retail environments. Where charac- related to retail area patronage decisions.
Broadly, this measure gauges the extent to general price level. These resemble more accurately, the which consumers anticipate a continuing relationship choices faced by consumers when selecting between retail with a particular shopping area. It captures the strength areas. The instrument used to measure 2. Baker et al. The framework contends pendent variable with some success.
In the context of this research, it is expected that the retail environment will 3. Hypotheses produce an emotional state in the consumer that can be described in dimensions similar to those prescribed by The model Fig.
It sug- degree of liking toward a retail area. While capturing the emotional responses to a particu- H : Affect will be positively related to willingness to 1 lar environment, this measure of affect represents a de- download parture from the Mehrabian—Russell model where emotional response is captured by individual measures of An individual who is positively disposed toward a par- the pleasure, arousal, and dominance dimensions. How- ticular retail area is more likely to shop within this area ever, the author contends, given the nature of the re- and anticipate an ongoing commitment to the area.
Accurate reporting of these a particular retail area. More specifically, consumers are emotional dimensions would also prove problematic for expected to like retail areas where perceived range and respondents.
Furthermore, greater. Consumers are also expected to like retail areas Donovan and Rossiter argue that affect is perceived to be more attractive. Proposed model of retail area shopping behaviour. Methodology research and the variance to be explained within the sample, problems of non-response bias are considered to This section presents the methods and procedures used be a minor issue Hunt, ; Morgan and Hunt, It will firstly consider the issue of survey design and sponses were omitted.
The final sample represented sample size. Each shopping area examined in the survey included Also this section will present the techniques employed in was well represented with 54 responses for the smallest testing the causal model and the results of the multivari- area.
Average age was ate analysis. These respondents were, on average, educated to a secondary level and reported an annual household 4. The research site for this study was a city with a popu- 4.
Factor analysis results lation of approximately one hundred and ninety thou- sand people. Data were collected via a mail-out survey The model of shopping area behaviour described questionnaire.
The selection of retail areas included relevant to retail shopping areas. These variables in- two strip shopping centres, two suburban malls, and the cluded: Price Fairness, Quality of Products and Shops, central business district. Each area was selected based on Variety and Range of Products, Variety of Shops, its comparative size and volume of customers in order to Fashionability of Products, Visual Amenity, Conveni- increase the likelihood of survey returns.
Affective affect and behav- The final sample was selected using a random samp- ioural willingness to download measures of shopping area ling procedure from local government lists of ratepayers.
Each of these variables were The household member responsible for the majority of measured by a series of items captured on five point the shopping was instructed to complete the question- Likert-type summated ratings scales. The items required naire. Respondents were asked to select their preferred the respondent to indicate the extent to which he or she shopping area from the five selected. Of question- agreed or disagreed with the statement, and ranged from naires that were distributed, were returned for a re- Strongly Disagree 1 to Strongly Agree 5.
Given the exploratory nature of this the scales and their origin are presented in Table 3. Table 1 presents the results of the factor revealed two factors with eigenvalues greater than 1. Items with low factor loadings 0. In general, the patronage. It also describes the origins of the scales used data exhibited high factor loadings for their respective to measure the dimensions of retail area image and the factors and low loadings on other factors which supports affective and behavioural variables.
Internal reliability the discriminant validity of the constructs and the items tests demonstrated quite strong Cronbach alphas employed as measures see Table 3.
Reliability estimates ranging from 0. Analysis The factor analysis of environmental items yielded five factors with eigenvalues greater than 1. Multiple e. LIS- of products and stores in a retail area are fashionable, high quality, REL adds precision to the estimation of the causal model and have variety and range; 8 items; Modi- by correcting for attenuation of random measurement fication of scales by Marks , Singson error of manifest variables.
In addition, these Customer service The quality of sales support offered by shop results demonstrate that the probability of common owners and sales assistants determined by method variance occurring is minimised i. Item was reverse-scored. The test 74 S. The CFI, Variables 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 which avoids underestimation of fit and attenuates for sample size, indicated an acceptable fit of the measure- Affect 1. The findings of the structural model are Price fairness 0.
Quality and range 0. Results Convenience 0. Correlational data N"; Correlations of 0. Table 4 contains the zero-order correlation matrix. This suggests that positive consumer feelings ables on affect. These results Each of the five image variables demonstrated signifi- offered support for the first hypothesis. In assessing the fit cant relationships with affect.
Price fairness r"0. It was concluded that convenience r"0. Path analysis and the selection of quality products, the level of cus- tomer service provided in the area, and its visual appeal. As image is tionships were consistent with the research hypotheses; posited to influence downloading behaviour indirectly through that consumers will be positively disposed to high image affect, path analysis allows a determination of whether shopping areas.
An examination of significant total effects on 5. Multivariate data downloading behaviour indicates the rank order of variables is as follows: quality and range of products and stores The results used to estimate the hypothesised model 0. Table 5 presents the standardised 0. Although convenience and price fairness were coefficients for the causal model of retail area shopping significantly correlated with both affect and willingness behaviour.
Twenty-nine percent of the variance in affect to download, within the proposed model they had non-signifi- was explained by the retail area image variables.
The cant total causal effects on willingness to download. Customers 6. Discussion were significantly more inclined to like a shopping area that was perceived to have a wide variety of quality The results from this study provide some support for products and stores, a higher level of customer service, the proposed model and the research hypotheses. More and was perceived to be visually attractive. Con- sistent with expectations, the proposed dimensions of 2 The covariance matrix can be supplied by the authors upon request.
Path diagram: model of retail area shopping behaviour solid lines represent significant effects and dashed lines represent non-significant effects.
Note: v2 " Visual amenity 0. Endogenous Variables f Affect 0. Squared multiple correlations. The adaptation of the Mehrabian and Russell model of environmental psychology 76 S. From a range of image variables, portant influence on patronage behaviour. Although meas- likelihood that consumers will download and continue to ured on a different conceptual level i.
Consumer affect, or the degree retail area , this finding is consistent with the results of to which a consumer liked a particular shopping area, Darden , who showed a positive relationship be- mediated the effect of these variables on behaviour.
For vidual are important mediators of the impact of environ- low involvement situations, consumers may employ deci- mental stimuli on individual behaviour. Moreover, this sion rules or heuristics to evaluate products, stores, or result validates a stimulus—organism—response S—O—R retail areas across relevant attributes. For each attribute, paradigm for examining retail area consumer decision- there may be a cutoff value specifying a minimal accept- making, an approach notably absent from previous work able level for that attribute Klein and Bither, By drawing upon the emotional domain, this A level of retail area convenience meeting a pre-specified approach allows a more comprehensive understanding of cutoff is expected.
Variability in convenience above this consumer responses to their environments. An accurate measure- and Houston, However, it is consistent with find- ment of these dimensions of emotion was precluded by ings of other retail marketers Doyle and Fenwick , the nature of the research instrument survey question- ; Gentry and Burns , , who place less naire. A more faithful replication of the model would emphasis on locational convenience of retail areas as require a research design incorporating on-site inter- societies become more urbanised and mobile.