Retailers often worry about the negative effects of appealing exterior architecture on their store's price image, especially the price-level perception and the ease of price evaluation. Findings from prior laboratory experiments support these concerns, while field studies find no such effects. The present study explains this inconsistency by analyzing the moderating effects of price and retail brand information available to customers in real shopping situations. The results show that negative effects of appealing exterior architecture do not exist when retail brand information is available. The availability of price information neutralizes the negative effects of appealing architecture on the price-level perception, but not on the ease of price evaluation.
Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 2012, Vol 19, Issue 5, p. 510-518