The influence of store environment on quality inferences and store image

Abstract

The study reported here examines how combinations of specific elements in the retail store environment influence consumers’ inferences about merchandise and service quality and discusses the extent to which these inferences mediate the influence of the store environment on store image. Results show that ambient and social elements in the store environment provide cues that consumers use for their quality inferences. In addition, store environment, merchandise quality, and service quality were posited to be antecedents of store image—with the latter two serving as mediators—rather than components of store image (as they are typically treated in the store image literature). Theoretical and managerial implications of the findings are discussed, and future research directions are proposed.

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Correspondence to Julie Baker.

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She received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Her areas of interest include store environment, consumer behavior, and product/service quality. She has published articles in theInternational Journal of Research in Marketing and theJournal of Retailing.

He received his Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His areas of interest include pricing, consumer behavior, product/service quality, and customer satisfaction. He has published articles in a number of journals, including theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, andJournal of Retailing.

He received his D.B.A. from Indiana University in 1975. His research interests focus on the measurement and improvement of service quality and on services marketing strategy. He is the recipient of several teaching and research awards. In 1988, he was selected as one of the ten most influential figures in quality by the editorial board ofThe Quality Review. His articles have appeared in theJournal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Services Marketing, andBusiness Horizons, among other publications. He is the author ofMarketing Research, a college textbook, as well as coauthor ofMarketing Services: Competing through Quality andDelivering Quality Service: Balancing Customer Perceptions and Expectations. He is also an active consultant to a number of major corporations.

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Baker, J., Grewal, D. & Parasuraman, A. The influence of store environment on quality inferences and store image. JAMS 22, 328–339 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1177/0092070394224002

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Keywords

  • Service Quality
  • Consumer Research
  • Store Image
  • High Service Quality
  • American Market Association