Store layout and its impact on consumer purchasing behaviour at convenience stores in Kwa Mashu
Tlapana, Tshepo Peter
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Store layout is an important factor affecting consumer behaviour and a critical determinant towards the creation of store image. Well designed layouts are extremely important because they strongly influence in-store traffic patterns, shopping atmosphere, shopping behaviour, and operational efficiency (Vrechopoulos et al., 2004: 13). When an inconsistency occurs, some consumers will abandon that establishment in search of another one which offers fast, convenient and better services (Andersen, 1997: 118). Taking a more strategic approach to store layout can reap big rewards by boosting sales, increasing customer loyalty and ultimately increasing turnover (Clark, 2003: 42). The overall aim of the study was to ascertain if independent convenience stores in Kwa Mashu are aware of the impact of store layout on purchasing patterns of consumers. In order to accomplish the objectives of the study, a quantitative study was conducted at the convenience stores at Kwa Mashu by means of self-administered questionnaires. A sample of 400 respondents was asked questions pertaining to the study. The respondents were selected through non-probability sampling within which convenience sampling was applied. Conclusions and recommendations were thereafter drawn from the literature and the findings of the study. The results of this study show that consumers experience problems with store layout. It was found that appearance of the store, merchandise display, store atmosphere, instore service and accessibility are the major causes of this discomfort. Therefore, it is recommended that convenience retail owners in Kwa Mashu attend to those areas and see to it that necessary strategies are implemented to help customers where there is a need.