How Product–Environment Brightness Contrast and Product Disarray Impact Consumer Choice in Retail Environments

Ryann Reynolds-McIlnay, Maureen Morrin, Jens Nordfält

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A conceptual model is developed to predict how consumers respond to in-store displays as a function of the extent to which a product’s brightness level (i.e., its perceived light-emitting quality) contrasts with that of its background environment and the product’s level of disarray. We show that products whose brightness levels contrast more with those of the retail environment are more preferred because they visually “pop out” (e.g., a dark product in a brightly lit store environment). However, this preference reverses when the products that pop out appear in disarray (i.e., are perceived to have been previously touched by other shoppers). Because most stores are bright environments, darker (vs. lighter) products in disarray are more likely to be perceived as contaminated and less pleasant, leading to avoidance behaviors, evident in reduced sales and preference. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266–282
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Retailing
Volume93
Issue number3
Early online date24 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

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