Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Human Ecology

First Advisor

Teresa A. Summers

Abstract

This study explored the influence of lighting on consumer approach-avoidance behavior. A methodology was developed to empirically measure the approach-avoidance behavior of consumers. Supplemental lighting on merchandise displays in two non-urban retail stores was temporarily installed and manipulated On or Off to test for the effects on consumer behaviors of Time at Display, Number of Items Touched and Number of Items Picked Up. Video cameras were positioned to record consumers' actions at each display. Subjects consisted of an accidental sample of consumers who visited the field settings, a hardware store and a western/apparel feed store, during the two consecutive weekends of the study and passed within the measurement zones of the video cameras. A coding procedure, based on work by Areni and Kim (1994), was developed and used by raters who reviewed the video tapes. A total of 2367 consumers were observed, and behaviors and demographics were coded by two raters. Data were analyzed using Analysis of Variance and Bonferroni paired comparisons. Supplemental lighting treatments did have an effect on consumer behavior, as qualified by store type. The effect of lighting on the Number of Items Touched and the Number of Items Picked Up was found to be statistically significant. The effect of lighting on the Time at Display was not statistically significant. The effect of store on Time at Display, Number of Items Touched and Number of Items Picked Up was statistically significant. Interactions between supplemental lighting and store were found to be statistically significant. This study provided a sound methodology for the further examination of the effect of lighting on in-store consumer behavior. Approach-avoidance theory seemed to be an effective way of explaining consumer behavior in a retail setting. This information could be useful to retailers in developing in-store lighting as part of a store's atmospherics which can aid in attracting consumers to a store and retaining consumer patronage. Further study on the effect of lighting in retail settings is recommended.

ISBN

9780591591330

Pages

91

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