The Effect of Retail Atmospherics on Staff Behaviour

Feb. 25, 2020

Much of the focus in recent years on developing Retail Atmospherics has been on the consumer, to encourage brand loyalty, to get them to return more often, to stay longer and to spend more.

Very little seems to have been done on the consequences of particular Retail Atmospherics on staff morale and/or performance.

A study in 2011 (Skandrani et al) in high end clothing stores, found that employees could adopt avoidance behaviours because of the environmental factors. Specifically, it suggested that the lack of variation in the music programme, the incongruence of the music genre, the salespersons musical preferences, long exposure to the same rhythms, task complexity and crowding, might affect the employees’ attitudinal and behavioural responses. In addition, any tensions within the sales team could be exacerbated by discordant atmospherics.

The study findings recognized that in an attempt to produce positive reactions from the consumer, clothing store managers should also devote attention to employees’ responses to store atmospherics, as they might affect approach or avoidance behaviours and inhibit the quality of the service delivery process.

The results suggest that in store music should be appropriate to the time of day, non-repetitive and suiting the employees’ tastes and preferences. They also suggest that its impact on the employees’ responses appears to be much more complex than for a consumer who seemingly has more control of the situation (spending less time in the store and having the ability to leave at any time).

The impact on the employees can be stimulating, motivating and evoking enthusiasm. This is likely to result in affiliation, a desire to approach and interact with the customer and to deliver a better service.

However, under some circumstances, the impact can be stressful, irritating and confusing. This may result in avoidance behaviours such as withdrawal, disturbance or stress.

It noted that managers should make trade-offs between the desired consumer responses and the actual employees responses to environment factors. In addition, they should be aware of the cognitive and psychological overload that might be generated especially in sales periods when consumer affluence is high. Preparing the employees for these events, training them and being responsive to their needs would solve conflicts and enhance performance.

Shakespeare Music has been customizing playlists since 2012 and has amassed considerable experience and expertise. Our Playlists are changed completely every month and there is no repetition, unless specifically requested. Please contact us if you would like to see how customized music playlists can be used to keep your customers and staff engaged.



Research Reference


“Effect of store atmospherics on employees’ reactions.”

Hamida Skandrani, Norche`ne Ben Dahmane Mouelhi and Faten Malek

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management · January 2011



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