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Atmospherics and retail space management are critical to any form of retail business. The irrelevance emerges from the link between shopping behaviour and physical environmental factors. Physical environmental factors, for instance, influence the perception of shopping hours spent and the evaluation of merchandise. It, therefore, becomes important for the retailer to effectively plan and organize all the aspects related to atmospherics and retail space to be able to optimize scarce resources and improve profitability. Atmospherics refers to the physical characteristics associated with the store. These characteristics include both interior and exterior elements, as well as layout planning and display. Display is popularly referred to as visual merchandising. Atmospherics plays a significant role in attracting customers to the store, improving the quality of service experience, creating a brand positioning for the outlet and improving customer retention rates. Another equally significant and related concept is retail space management. Effective space management attempts to ensure optimum utilization of retail space along with convenience to customers and employees. There are various aspects related to presentation, styling and design that are used commonly across all aspects of atmospherics and space management. Some of these are tools like lighting, color planning, use of walls and physical materials. WHAT IS ATMOSPHERICS? Atmospherics is referred to as a store¶s physical characteristics that are used to develop the retail unit image and draw customers. It describes the physical elements in a store¶s design that appeal to consumers and encourages them to buy. Atmospherics can be classified in terms of exterior and interior atmospherics. Exterior atmospherics refers to aspects like store front, display window, surrounding businesses, look for the shopping centre, etc. It is considered important to attract new customers. Interior atmospherics refers to aspects like lighting, color, changing room facilities, etc.It helps enhance the display and provides customers with relevant information.
ROLE OF ATMOSPHERICS IN RETAIL STRATEGY Atmospherics plays the following roles in a retail strategy:
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Enhances the image of the retail outlet Attracts new customers Creates a definite (Unique Selling Proposition) USP Generates excitement Facilitates easy movement inside the store Facilitates access to merchandise inside the store Ensures optimum utilization of retail space Ensures effective and desired presentation of the merchandise
AROUSAL: Assesses the extent to which the environment stimulates the shoppers in particular environment. while more relaxed music encourages relaxed browsing. but rather ambient scents. Studies have found that evaluations of overall retail store ratings were more favourable for scented stores than for unscented stores. the nature of music in a specific retail environment can decrease or increase arousal. Fast paced music hurries customer browsing. This enables even novice customers to quickly assess a business service. The choices of fixtures. An added benefit is that employees perform better when there is background music.y y y Reduces product search time for the customer Reinforces the marketing communication of the outlet Influences the service quality experience Atmospherics is an integral part of the service quality experience for the customer and visitor to the retail site. playing classical music in Hindi should enhance shoppers enjoyment in specific kind of service settings in north India. those that do not emanate from a particular object but are present in the environment. Signs indicate services offered and often hang above and behind service counters. size and quality provides tangible cues to customers. IMMEDIATE EFFECTS OF RETAIL UNIT ENVIRONMENT The three immediate effects of retail unit environment stimuli are pleasure. and signage can greatly alter consumer perceptions of a store. PLEASURE/DISPLEASURE: Is termed as effectual reaction of shoppers in service environment. compared to no music or fast music. Effectively placed signs can help to reinforce customers in their role in service encounters. This entails whether shoppers have perceived the environment as enjoyable or un-enjoyable. Physical surroundings. Playing slow instrumental music may result in subdued activity level from customers in service settings such as restaurants. décor. arousal. whereas similar music could adversely affect shopping experience in retail units in Punjab. These may affect perceptions of the store and its products. For example. Customers use scents and odours as cues to make inferences about retail locations. Aroma does not refer to immediately identifiable scents such as those emanating from a bakery or coffee shop. helping to reduce the stress associated with having to ask questions. . Therefore. The choice of the sign¶s color. in service settings such as retail outlets are vital cues to service quality expectations. which increases job satisfaction. and dominance in the minds of the shoppers.
owing primarily to its catchy display of the mannequins. with not the conventional mannequins that we see at every store. VASHI) EXTERIOR ATMOSPHERICS: y Visibility: Remainika has carefully placed its store at a point where its visibility is strong and the customers passing by the store have a clear vision of what the store is about and what it offers. KEY COMPONENTS OF RETAIL ATMOSPHERICS Four key components of atmospherics in the retail context are: 1. The entrance point offers a 360 degree view of the store so that the customers exactly know which corner to head for their merchandize. Entrance: The entrance of Remainika consists of a single door for entry and exit. the surrounding area is catchy and appealing offering a very soothing and peppy environment to the store. This is a feeling that could be related to environmental aspects like the height of the ceiling that makes one feel small (under control). The store neighbours of Remainika were Catwalk. Uniqueness: The uniqueness factor of Remainika can be scaled at 6 out of 10. Store Layout 4. The best part about the window display is the ability for a passing customer to see through the entire store through the window display. however the entrance is large enough for a group of 2-3 people to comfortably walk in. Visual Merchandising REMAINIKA (IN ORBIT MALL. The exterior display appeals the potential customer and gets them to thinking that the store is different from the conventional stores that they witness in their daily lives. y y y y . lies in the right choice of color. The kind of mood that needs to be portrayed. Surrounding Area/Stores: Since it is situated in a mall. Individuals associate the color red with active. AND. assertive and rebellious moods. The store size is large enough to attract attention. whereas they associate blue with sedatetranquility and a suppression of feelings.The dominant color in the store also creates a response. Interior atmospherics 3. a fashion footwear brand. Window Display: The window display of Remainika is visually appealing and striking.DOMINANCE Concerns whether the customers feel dominant (in control) or submissive (under control) in the service environment. Exterior atmospherics 2. therefore.
Lighting: The store was very well lit with a mixture of lighting. dawning a vintage kind of a theme with a wall beautifully covered with interesting paintings well coordinated with the colours of the merchandize. it had one dressing room which was sufficient for the amount of traffic it generated y y y y y y . y Parking Facilities: Situated in a mall with huge traffic flowing in at peak hours. However a soothing aroma fragrance would have worked wonders for the store. dark and dull wherever needed. Music: The music was a mix of rock and pop keeping in mind the target customer. the customers enjoy a well planned mall parking facility which ensures ease of travelling and a solution to the most common problem faced by shoppers. So the customer has a variety of options for indulging in further shopping spree. The emphasis was on a clear view of the merchandise which was very well planned. Cleanliness: The store was kept very clean Dressing Areas: According to the size of the store. so the visual merchandiser played very safe while planning the music tracks Fragrance: The fragrance of the store was not prominent. which gave a fashionable look and enhanced the appeal of the store. The lighting gave a very calming look to the store.Ayesha. REMAINIKA (IN ORBIT MALL. VASHI) INTERIOR ATMOSPHERICS: y Flooring: The flooring of Remainika was very elegant. Fixtures: The fixtures of the store was one the attractive areas. neither did it smell bad. it was a blend of latest and all time favourite numbers. a lifestyle accessories brand. The flooring was well coordinated with the overall theme which was chick at the same time was very classy.