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  • 1.
    Andersson K, Pernille
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center.
    Wästlund, Erik
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
    Kristensson, Per
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center.
    The effect of gaze on consumers’ encounter evaluation2016In: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, ISSN 0959-0552, E-ISSN 1758-6690, Vol. 44, no 4, p. 372-396Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The research concerns the effect of frontline employees’ averted or direct gaze on consumers’ evaluation of the encounter. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that in normal interactions, a direct or averted gaze affects people’s evaluation of others. The question was whether this finding would hold true in commercial interactions.

    Design/methodology/approach – The authors conducted three experiments using a written scenario with a photograph among a total sample of 612 participants.

    Findings – This research showed that consumers’ social impression of the frontline employees mediated the effect of the employees’ gazing behaviour on consumers’ emotions and satisfaction with the encounters. The findings also showed that averting gaze had a negative effect on consumers’ first impression of the frontline employee, which affected consumers’ satisfaction with the encounter. The findings also showed that a direct gaze had a negative effect on encounter satisfaction when consumers sought to purchase embarrassing products.

    Originality/value – The research demonstrated that the effect of gaze on encounter satisfaction was mediated by the social impression and moderated by consumers’ approach/avoidance motivation.

  • 2.
    Otterbring, Tobias
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013). Department of Management/MAPP, Aarhus University.
    Decompression zone deconstructed: Products located at the store entrance do have an impact on sales2018In: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, ISSN 0959-0552, E-ISSN 1758-6690, Vol. 46, no 11-12, p. 1108-1116Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: Researchers have hypothesized that products located at the decompression zone of a store (the entrance area where customers adjust to the retail environment) do not influence sales of these particular products, because customers do not register things that are too close to store entrances. The purpose of this paper is to examine the validity of such a decompression zone account in actual field settings, and hence investigate whether or not placing products at the store entrance would increase customers’ likelihood to purchase these products. Design/methodology/approach: Two field studies with a total sample of 715 customers were conducted, in which the entrance area of a home goods store was manipulated using a two-group quasi-experimental design. In Study 1, customers were (vs were not) exposed to candles and candle holders at the store entrance. In Study 2, an employee greeted customers at the store entrance with (vs without) the store’s products nearby. Findings: Study 1 found that customers who were (vs were not) exposed to candles and candle holders at the store entrance purchased a significantly larger number of both these products. Study 2 replicated and generalized these findings. Although customers in the employee + products condition spent less money than customers in the employee-alone condition, the former group still purchased a significantly larger number of candles and candle holders. These findings go directly against a decompression zone account, but are consistent with research on exposure effects. Originality/value: This paper is the first to empirically examine the validity of the decompression zone account in real retail settings. The paper also fills a more general gap in the store atmospherics literature, as only a very limited number of studies have dealt with the external parts of the retail environment, such as the store entrance area.

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