Defense Date

Summer 6-19-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Business Administration

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Brian Rutherford

Committee Member or Co-Chair

Barry Babin


Joe Hair


Managing the retail environment is critical for retailers since the retail environment affects consumer’s behavior within a store. To investigate retail environments, researchers often group the environment into three dimensions—an ambient, a social and a design dimension. While the ambient dimension is frequently investigated and research on the social dimension is gaining momentum, the design dimension has received comparably little attention. There is not a common definition of design in the literature. The lack of common definition has led to many different scales for design being offered in the literature, generating conflicting and incomparable empirical results.

This dissertation addresses these shortcomings in three essays. Essay 1 compiles existing literature, integrates the literature within a theoretical framework, and provides a conceptual definition of what design of the retail environment includes and what is not included. This clarification is necessary to close a conceptual gap within the literature so researchers are provided with a clear foundation for what should be included in the design dimension and how the design dimension is conceptually distinct from other dimensions (ambient and social) of the retail environment. Using the conceptual definition developed in Essay 1, Essay 2 develops a list of items for potential inclusion in

a design of the retail environment scale, and then develops and refines the scale based on established scale development guidelines. Specifically, an extensive list of potential items is identified and the measure is purified using an initial sample. Next, a second sample is collected to assess reliability, convergent validity, discriminant validity, and internal consistency. The outcome of this process is a reliable and valid scale that can be used in future empirical retail design research. Using the newly designed scale, Essay 3 develops and tests a nomological network using the Mehrabian-Russell stimulus-organism-response framework. AMOS is used to test the proposed relationships.

Included in

Marketing Commons