Lost in the store: Assessing the confusion potential of store environments


Garaus, M., Wagner, U. (2019): "Lost in the store: Assessing the confusion potential of store environments", in Schmalenbach Business Review, 71, 413-441

Confusion in retailing has attracted increasing attention in the literature. Most of the extant studies concentrate on product-related confusion or the mental state retail shopper confusion. Nevertheless, several recent studies have emphasized the relevance of exploring confusion as an objective property of the store environment. Drawing on this literature stream, the present research conceptualizes the construct store environmental confusion and its six formative dimensions, of which each can be measured through two environmental properties: complexity and conflict. This research seeks to develop, validate, and test a parsimonious index for store environmental confusion. The predictive and nomological validity of the store environmental confusion index is assessed by structural equation modelling and results confirm the hypothesis that store environmental confusion produces undesirable consumer intentions. This research is the first to quantitatively assess the confusion potential of different design factors. The resulting store environmental confusion index can be used to evaluate the confusion potential of various store environments, thereby helping retailers provide customers with a clear and non-confusing store design.