The store-as-a-brand strategyThe effect of store environment on customer responses

Archana Kumar, Montclair State University
Youn Kyung Kim, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Despite their significance within the apparel industry, retailers selling just their own brand of apparel (single-brand apparel retailers) have not been examined for the relationship between their store environment and customer responses. This study explores the effect of store environment on customers' internal evaluations and behavior toward single-brand apparel retailers. Further, to understand the store-as-a-brand strategy, this study examined whether customers have similar cognitive and affective perceptions toward the store versus merchandise. A mall intercept survey was conducted and a non-recursive structural equation model was employed to test the proposed hypotheses. This study found that social, design, and ambient cues as well as merchandise cues influence internal evaluations and ultimately approach behavior toward single-brand apparel retailers. This study also affirmed that the store-as-a-brand concept is valid for a single-brand apparel retailer.