As part of her academic research, Dr Carla Ferraro partnered with a major Australian retailer that was undertaking two store refurbishments. One store had been refurbished in the last 15 years, while another had not been updated significantly in 40 years.

Dr Ferraro found that general refurbishments had very positive impacts on both customers and employees.

Customers felt a renewed loyalty to the brand and reported a marked increase in satisfaction, particularly in their response to the revamping of the older store.

“They felt much more emotionally connected to the store following the refurbishment, and their perceptions around how the store looked and their satisfaction with the shopping experience also increased markedly, as did their behaviour,” Dr Ferraro reports.

“They visited the store more regularly and spent more money.”

Different aspects of a particular refurbishment, such as exterior design and flooring changes influenced overall satisfaction and positive feelings linked to purchases, while improved lighting influenced people’s decisions to return and recommend the store to others.

Dr Carla Ferraro, research fellow with Monash Business School’s Australian Consumer, Retail, and Services (ACRS) Research Unit.