Flagships and visual merchandising : effect of retail store type on shopper response to visual merchandising in the fashion clothing industry.
Thesis DisciplineBusiness Administration
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
This thesis aims to investigate the possible effect of retail store type on shopper response to visual merchandising. Specifically, this thesis uses the context of the fashion clothing industry to examine, in the flagship store format, specific visual merchandising elements and the response of shoppers to these elements. A mixed methods approach is taken in this research. This thesis first identifies important flagship visual merchandising elements used in high-end fashion flagship stores; this data is collected by way of interviews with industry experts. To examine possible effects of store type and contextual visual merchandising on shopper response, an online experiment using the identified visual merchandising practices is conducted adopting a 2x2x2 between-subjects factorial design. In the experiment participants were exposed to one of eight different conditions involving the combination of the three variables (store type, signage type and visual display level). A total of 228 responses were included in final analyses, with participants being recruited through online convenience sampling on Facebook. Factorial ANCOVA analysis was conducted to test the hypothesised effects. The results indicated there were no interaction effects of store type and visual merchandising on shopper response. Some main effects were present, with results indicating branded signage had a positive effect on the browsing intentions and purchase intentions of shoppers, as well as a positive effect on how shoppers perceive a stores overall image. Store perceptions were also found to be positively affected by the presence of higher levels of general visual merchandising, such as mannequins and accessories. Implications of the research both theoretically and managerially are discussed along with directions for future research.