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Retrospective: the importance of servicescapes in leisure service settings

Kirk L. Wakefield (Department of Marketing, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA)
Jeffrey Blodgett (School of Business, University of Houston – Victoria, Missouri City, Texas, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 10 October 2016




The purpose of the paper is to review the contribution of the paper, “The Importance of Servicescapes in Leisure Service Settings” to the discipline and to offer directions for further research and developments in the research area.


Key findings from research streams in sports and entertainment, leisure and hospitality, and services and retail marketing, which emanated from the publication of the paper, are highlighted. Opportunities for future research are discussed.


The importance of the servicescape in leisure settings has become even greater on a national and global basis as individuals spend more time, money and effort pursuing hedonic consumption in service settings. More research is needed within specific service contexts among and between individuals, groups and cultures to determine the holistic and particular influences of the physical environment on consumer response.

Research limitations/implications

With increased co-production of service experiences, including the integration of technology and mobile/wearable devices, marketers and researchers must better understand the role of the physical surroundings on individual, group and organizational behavior in the evolving servicescape.


The original paper motivated significant, highly cited studies in multiple disciplines integrated and overlapping with services and retail marketing. Taking a historical perspective encourages other researchers to conduct research of personal interest to address theoretical, methodological and practical issues. The retrospective analysis by the authors gives insight into the thought processes associated with understanding key aspects of the servicescape that contribute to the historical development of services marketing and offers food for thought (if not ambience and layout) for future research directions.



Wakefield, K.L. and Blodgett, J. (2016), "Retrospective: the importance of servicescapes in leisure service settings", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 7, pp. 686-691.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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