Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present findings from an experiment designed to test the impact of crowding perceptions (both human and spatial), emotions (positive and negative) and shopping values (utilitarian and hedonic) on shopper satisfaction. Culture is explored as a moderating variable with the expectation that it systematically affects perceptions and values, which, in turn, influence the shopper's experience with the store.
Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected via a 2 x 2 x 2 full factorial between subjects design with two variables, one manipulated and one measured. The two manipulated variables were spatial density (high versus low) and human density (high versus low). The measured variable was country of origin, where subjects were coded as either American or Australian.
Findings - Culture moderates the effects of perceived spatial crowding as well as both hedonic and utilitarian shopping values on shopper satisfaction. Specifically, the adverse effect of perceived spatial crowding on shopper satisfaction is less pronounced for Australians than is the case for Americans. With respect to both utilitarian and hedonic shopping values, the positive relationship between shopping values and shopper satisfaction is greater for Australians than for Americans.
Originality/value - Shopping has been generally described by Rintamaki et al. as 'relativistic, because it involves preferences among objects, it varies among people, and it is specific to the context'. This paper demonstrates that culture clearly affects shopper's perceptions and shopping values, which in turn affect shopper satisfaction. It is reasonable to speculate that these effects would be even more pronounced had countries with greater cultural distance been examined.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mark_spence/18/