The Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Remodeled Servicescape

Elisabeth Brüggen, Maastricht University
Bram Foubert, Maastricht University
Dwayne D. Gremler, Bowling Green State University

Service companies spend vast amounts of money to remodel their establishments. However, little is known about the longitudinal effects of such store makeovers and the differential impact on customers’ psychological responses or actual purchase behavior. In this study a natural experiment in the fast-food industry is used to examine the short- and long-term effects of store remodeling on psychological measures (cognitions, affect, and behavioral intentions) and actual customer behavior (average customer spending and store traffic). In the short term, customers’ cognitions and behavioral intentions improve significantly, as does customer spending, but not store traffic. In the long term, the positive short-term effects diminish. Adaptation-level theory suggests that customers’ initial experiences may lose strength over time as the remodeled store environment becomes the new frame of reference. The findings imply that relying solely on customers’ psychological responses or ignoring the time-variant character of remodeling effects may lead to inappropriate managerial decisions.

 

Brüggen, Elisabeth, Bram Foubert, and Dwayne D. Gremler (2011), “Extreme Makeover: Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Remodeled Servicescape,” Journal of Marketing, 75 (September), 71-87.