Simpatico in store retailing: How immigrant Hispanic emic interpret U.S. store atmospherics and interactions with sales associates

Deborah C. Fowler, Scarlett C. Wesley, Maria Elena Vazquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This study explores shopper experiences and preferences for atmospheric design variables of the rapidly growing Hispanic market in non-traditional areas of growth of the United States. The majority of the informants were recent immigrants and/or first generation. Data were collected during eight focus groups in four States identifiable as non-traditional growth areas: Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The findings indicate that atmospheric influences include: price, merchandise, retail staff, general layout and design. However, problems in enacting customer and retail staff relationships along with language misunderstandings are the most important findings. Hispanics often overlook other atmospheric elements if they perceive being treated well by sales associates-a simpatico treatment-immigrant Hispanics interpret store visits to be especially favorable when a sales associate communicates with them in Spanish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded in part by a grant from the Educational Foundation of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the University of South Carolina Center for Retailing and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. Special thanks are given to Annette Hoover of the Department of Marketing at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and Ligia Pinoargorte of Columbia, South Carolina for their invaluable assistance in the collection of data and translations.


  • Atmospherics
  • Hispanic customers
  • Retailers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Simpatico in store retailing: How immigrant Hispanic emic interpret U.S. store atmospherics and interactions with sales associates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this