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Retail crowding: meta-analysis of contextual and cultural moderators

Fernando de Oliveira Santini (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, São Leopoldo, Brazil)
Wagner Junior Ladeira (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, São Leopoldo, Brazil)
Diego Costa Pinto (NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campus de Campolide, Lisboa, Portugal)
Marcia Maurer Herter (Universidade Europeia, Business and Law Research Center, UNIDCOM, Lisboa, Portugal)
Anna S. Mattila (Hospitality Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)
Marcelo Gattermann Perin (FGV, São Paulo, Brazil)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 1 November 2021

Issue publication date: 17 January 2022




Although academics and retail managers share a common belief that crowded stores generate more sales, there is a growing concern about the negative impact of retail crowding on customer relationship management (CRM). This research aims to understand the underlying processes driving the effect, and it explores potential moderators that may mitigate the negative effects on consumer satisfaction.


This research employs a meta-analysis on retail crowding effects and potential moderators.


The integrative model of retail crowding reveals that social needs, crowd similarity, crowd expectation and uncertainty avoidance mitigate the negative retail crowding effects on satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The authors advance the retailing literature by synthesizing recent studies on retail crowding. The findings also provide a clearer understanding of the mediating role of negative emotions in the relationship between retail crowding and satisfaction.

Practical implications

This research offers guidance for retail managers on how to mitigate the harmful effects of crowding on customer satisfaction.


This research contributes to the retailing literature and offers guidance for retailers on how to mitigate the harmful effects of crowding on cvustomer satisfaction. Our moderation analyses provide insights into how and when crowding drives consumer satisfaction.



Funding: The study has been funded by FUNDAÇÃO DE AMPARO À PESQUISA DO ESTADO DO RIO GRANDE DO SUL (FAPERGS) (Award Number: 19/2551-0001794-4).


de Oliveira Santini, F., Ladeira, W.J., Pinto, D.C., Herter, M.M., Mattila, A.S. and Perin, M.G. (2022), "Retail crowding: meta-analysis of contextual and cultural moderators", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 40 No. 1, pp. 57-71.



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