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Servicescape matters – or does it? The special case of betting shops

Antje Cockrill (School of Business and Economics, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)
Mark Goode (School of Business and Economics, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)
Daniel Emberson (School of Business and Economics, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 28 March 2008




The concept of servicescape and its effect on consumer behaviour has been studied extensively in numerous areas of retailing. However, the role of servicescape in non‐traditional service settings has received comparatively little attention. The aim of this paper is to fill in some of this research gap by testing the effects of servicescape (ambience, layout and functionality) on consumer behaviour within UK betting shops, as part of the wider UK gambling industry.


In order to achieve this objective an exploratory research methodology was chosen. Firstly, three betting shops in the same metropolitan area were chosen as the base for interviews with managers and structured observations. This was complemented by fifty semi‐structured customer interviews from the same three betting shops. The use of these different methods allowed triangulation and validation of the results.


The key finding of this paper are that customers in betting shops appear to be unaffected by some of the elements of the servicescape. However, this research has found that signs, symbols and artefacts were regarded as critically important by consumers.

Research limitations/implications

Further, larger scale research is needed on the effects of servicescape in environments where consumption behaviour could be considered compulsive. This could includes, e.g. betting shops, arcades, casinos, bingo halls and National Lottery “shops.” Furthermore, this paper could also be used as the basis for further research on the e‐servicescape of the online gambling industry.

Practical implications

Some servicescape elements do not appear to affect betting shop customers greatly, but staff knowledge is important. Therefore, resources should be spent on improving staff knowledge rather than on other elements of the servicescape.


No prior empirical research has been found in this area.



Cockrill, A., Goode, M. and Emberson, D. (2008), "Servicescape matters – or does it? The special case of betting shops", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 189-206.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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