This project is designed to help you understand how store atmospherics play an important role in consumers' perceptions of a retail store.
1. First, select two retail outlets where students in your college are likely to shop. It will be good if you can select two outlets that you feel are quite different in terms of store image but that sell the same types of products. You might consider two specialty women's clothing stores, two jewelry stores, two department stores, or two coffee shops.
2. Visit each of the stores, and write a detailed description of the store atmosphere-the storefront and marquee, colors, materials used, types of displays, lighting fixtures, product displays, store personnel, and so on.
3. Survey some of the students in your college. Develop a brief questionnaire asking about the perceptions of the two stores you are studying. You may want to ask about things such as the quality of merchandise, prices, competence and friendliness of the store personnel, the attitude of management toward customer service, and so on. What is the "personality" of each store?
4. Develop a report of your findings. Compare the description of the stores with the results of the survey. Attempt to explain how the different elements of the store atmosphere create each store's unique image.