How consumer shopping orientation influences perceived crowding, excitement, and stress at the mall
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While a few researchers have started to chip away at the notion that retail density is always negative, extant studies do not empirically address the question of why some shoppers respond negatively to a specific level of density while others respond positively. We examine this issue by drawing upon field theory (Lewin 1939) to shed light on how shoppers vary in terms of deeper motives (McClelland 1953) to seek control or intimacy with others in retail mall settings, and whether these motives influence shopping orientations. Shopping orientation is then hypothesized to affect perceptions of crowding, and, in turn, subsequent affective responses to the mall shopping experience. Moreover, we examine whether individual differences (gender and age) can help retailers segment those with different shopping orientations and the motives that influence these orientations. We found that task and social shopping orientations were influenced by deeper motives for control and intimacy. The causal relationships between shopping motive, shopping orientation, and consumers’ affective responses of stress and excitement were also discovered. Finally, we address theoretical and managerial implications of our results.
KeywordsExcitement Stress Shopping orientation Shopping motivation Crowding
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