The interaction of retail density and music tempo: Effects on shopper responses



Research examining the effects of store environment on shoppers has found that a number of atmospheric cues have significant effects on shoppers' cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses. To date, retail atmospheric cues have been studied in isolation, instead of simultaneously, like they occur in the retail setting. This study examines the interactive effects of two atmospheric cues—retail density and music tempo—and their impact on shopper responses within a real shopping environment. Based on the schema incongruity model, it is found that shopper hedonic and utilitarian evaluations of the shopping experience are highest under conditions of slow music/high density and fast music/low density. Significant main effects of music tempo are found for behavioral responses such as approach/avoidance tendency and extent of browsing behavior. The results underscore the need to examine interactive effects of atmospheric cues to better understand the impact of the store environment on shoppers. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.