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The influence of store atmospherics on customer satisfaction at selected grocery retail outlets in Cape Town
Ndengane, Richard Mfundi
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This study is informed by the research conducted on the influence of store atmospherics on customer satisfaction. The shopping experience generally has evolved to become more engaging and entertaining for customers. As such, this is a phenomenon that is now, arguably, a fundamental or core function in retail operations. Intensifying retail rivalry has led to the emergence of certain innovations in the sector. These innovations are aimed at creating a pleasant shopping experience for shoppers, and ultimately increasing the retailers' turnover. Store atmospheric cues like colour, music, lighting and cleanliness constitute the major focus in intensifying customer satisfaction levels at stores. Design and social factors also play a significant role in ensuring that retailers maintain an appealing ambience in their stores. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of atmospheric store elements on customer satisfaction. A quantitative research study was carried out in Cape Town. Data was collected from four stores belonging to two retail chains, through a structured questionnaire that was distributed to the outlets' customers. A sample of 388 responses was achieved. The information collected was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25 software. Informed consent was obtained from respondents who were assured of their right to privacy, confidentiality and anonymity. In relation to the research hypotheses, the study discovered a positive correlation between feelings and mood, customers' time spent in an outlet, customers' intention to revisit the outlet and other related independent variables. The fourth hypothesis, concerning the image of store, also had a positive correlation with the other variables. This means that the objectives of the study were achieved. Furthermore, respondents were afforded the opportunity to qualitatively air their views outside of the formal structured questionnaire. One of the key qualitative findings was that the respondents raised concerns about poor service from the staff in stores.
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