Do Beautiful Stores improve Product Evaluation?
Keywords:Retail design, store design, retail atmosphere, field experiment, consumer preference
Retail designers often emphasize the importance of creating stores that consumers will find attractive. This paper challenges that commonly held view, presenting empirical results from a field experiment showing that a positive rating of a store interior does not affect the product rating to the degree expected. This paper proposes a method for measuring spillover effects, which ordinarily take place without conscious attention. The method was applied in an experiment where 50 shoppers were asked to rate six fashion products in three differently designed stores. Respondents were asked to rate stores and products from within the stores. Any discrepancy between the in-store ratings can be interpreted as the influence of the store design. Results indicate measurable spillover effects from store design to product preference. Surprisingly, however, only one of the three stores showed a significant correlation between the respondents’ highest product rating and store preference.