Blog Overview Blogger Profiles Event Calendar

You can also visit our other sites:

EmployeeWellness.ca WellnessFair.ca Workplace Wellness Info on NaturalHealthcare.ca
| Share: | more

Why retailers need to pay attention to the smell of their stores

Open, minimally stocked spaces can leave customers feeling as anxious as overstocked stores -- but scent may be the solution
Photo: aromatherapy

From the Concordia University media release:

Retail stores overflowing with merchandise can make consumers feel claustrophobic rather than ready to spend. But the recent move towards open, minimally stocked spaces can leave them feeling just as anxious.

The solution to this shopping conundrum may be smell, as new research from Concordia University shows.

In a study recently published in the American Journal of Business, researchers from the university's John Molson School of Business (JMSB) suggest that, when diffused in retail environments, certain scents can reduce the level of anxiety experienced by consumers.

"Our research shows that scents are best at fighting anxiety when they create feelings of openness in crowded retail environments or coziness in minimalist retail spaces," says marketing professor Bianca Grohmann.

Grohmann and her co-author Tina Poon, a graduate of Concordia's Master of Science program in marketing, conducted the study at JMSB's Laboratory for Sensory Research.

To test how scents diffused in the environment affect anxiety levels caused by overly crowded or open spaces, the researchers invited consumers to a lab that was either jam-packed or nearly empty.

In each case, the lab -- a simulated retail environment -- was infused with one of three ambient scents:

  • A scent reminiscent of enclosed spaces, like the smell of firewood
  • A scent evoking open spaces, like the seashore
  • No scent at all

Consumers evaluated several products, as well as the space in which the experiment was conducted. They then indicated their level of anxiety.

Grohmann and Poon found the following:

  • In crowded spaces, consumers said they felt least anxious when smelling something that evoked spaciousness.
  • In an almost empty space, consumers felt much calmer when exposed to an ambient scent evoking closed spaces.
  • Overall: anxiety levels were highest among consumers in an open space that was infused with a scent related to spaciousness.

"Our study shows that retailers need to carefully consider how they pair shopping space and ambient scent in order to decrease consumers' anxiety levels and improve their shopping experience," Grohmann says.

Ultimately, retailers who contend with small, crowded spaces, either due to limited store size or the volume of merchandise they stock, can prevent feelings of claustrophobia by using space-enhancing scents. However, those following the minimalist trend may want to consider using scents that bring a sense of coziness to the environment.



Next post: A winning attitude and personal support key to success 2017-01-11 09:35:35

Don't forget: there is a search box on every page!

Recent Posts:

A winning attitude and personal support key to success

Study finds ten strengths associated with high achievers, including winning attitudes and good support

Toxic bosses are bad for your health and bad for your corporate reputation

Bully bosses have unhappy and dissatisfied employees who seek to get even with the company, even though they do not realize it

Employers need to do more to encourage staff to switch off at home

Less than 50% of U.K. organisations surveyed provided their employees with guidance on how to switch off in their down time

Bullying makes men leave the labor market

Long-term consequences of workplace bullying on sickness absence: women generally go on prolonged sick leave or use antidepressants, men often choose to leave

Male athletes more likely to choke under pressure

Study finds women can respond better to competitive pressure than men in tennis tournaments, calls for further investigation in other real-life settings
Call us for more information: In Toronto and Area call 647.470.9087.
| Share: | more