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EJMS. 2013; 18(2): 67-79


Jose Manuel Cristóvão Verissimo, Rui Luis Alves Pereira.


Atmospheres influence behavior, create a positive image, and influence consumer purchasing patterns and retail perceptions. Nonetheless, the physical environment is a potential source of competitive advantage, though neglected more often than not. In particular, research on the effects of aroma as an independent variable in natural settings is very limited and requires further research. A sample of 407 moviegoers participated in a “natural experiment” in a cinema complex, using scented and unscented conditions. Findings show that scent produces significant positive differences in the evaluation of the theater, its environment, and on intention to return. No significant differences are found in the evaluations of concession products sold, despite the fact that spectators in scented rooms considered product prices to be significantly cheaper than did spectators in unscented rooms. A major implication of this study is that scent significantly affects emotional reactions to atmospheres. Retailers can thus improve environments to create enjoyable experiences and positively influence consumer responses.

Key words: Atmosphere, Ambient Scent, Movie Theater, Consumer Behavior

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