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Retail store environment and customer experience: a paradigm

Ishita Sachdeva (Department of Resource Management and Design Application, Lady Irwin College, Delhi University, Delhi, India.)
Suhsma Goel (Department of Resource Managment & Design Application, Lady Irwin College, Delhi, India.)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 13 July 2015




The current context of retail is extremely challenging. Retail environments are pushing consumers to appreciate hedonic aspects of consumption. Retailers are finding new ways to offer customers something unique or special in order to encourage traffic to physical stores. People like to touch, feel, smell, taste, inspect, test and try on. It is a holistic approach that involves both emotional and rational triggers (Meyer, 2006, p. 1). The paper aims to discuss these issues.


The basic proposition is that a shopper’s behavior is influenced by the environment. The environment (store) influences a shopper’s emotions and mood, which in turn influence the shopper’s behavior (Ebster and Garaus, 2011, p. 108). Mehrabian found a significant amount of research to back Holbrook’s findings that “emotion is a key link in the shopping experience” determining that consumers’ reactions within stores are based on their emotional states, which are stimulated by store designs (Mehrabian, 1977).


It is important to focus on engaging the customer both emotionally and behaviorally, which means that the communication on social media and physical retail stores should both excel in emotional appeal, and encourage various forms of interaction with the brand. Increasingly, success at retail is less about what the retailer has to sell and more about how they sell it. This is the new experiential paradigm shift in shopping. This will become even more critical in the future as success at retail will continue to shift toward how well retailers play to the emotions, psychology and feelings of the shopper (Danziger, 2006, p. 17). The need whether utilitarian or hedonic carries them to the store but emotions make them stay and shop.


Both utilitarian and hedonic experiences – whether they are derived from consuming products or total experience, including products, people, places and the environment – contribute in differing degrees, to the overall experience of consumption.



Sachdeva, I. and Goel, S. (2015), "Retail store environment and customer experience: a paradigm", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 290-298.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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