Whose shopping malls and whose shopping streets? Person-environment fit in retail environments

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Abstract

Shopping malls and shopping streets are environments frequented by millions of people daily. Malls are purposively built and strictly managed, whereas streets are evolving more spontaneously. Are these different but popular retail environments, out there to meet human needs, a like fit for all of us? Do all of us perceive them in the same way? Do we all feel just as good in them? Use them just as often and enthusiastically? We have set our research in a theoretical frame using one of the key concepts – describing the person-environment fit (P-EF) understood as a mental state giving rise to subsequent positive or negative states or behaviors. We assumed that the possible correlates of P-EF would be the person’s personality, temperament, and their system of values. Our cross-sectional correlational study involved 122 people aged 18 to 40. We found the match with retail environments to be influenced by subject traits, among them: consumption style, social affiliation need and openness to experience. Interestingly, it also turned out that the fit with retail environments is but ambiguously connected with hedonism co-variance, and that shopping streets can make for a fit no worse than malls.

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