Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Ann Marie Fiore



The purpose of this study was to systematically analyze the influence of the fitting room environment on older clothing shoppers' psychic cost, satisfaction, and patronage intention. The objectives of this study were to determine whether current fitting rooms deliver appropriate services for older consumers, and whether a fitting room environment that accommodates the needs of older consumers better is associated with enhanced shopping satisfaction and consequent patronage intention. In addition, this study created a conceptual model integrating the S-O-R model and person-environment fit theories to provide an understanding of the causal relationship among fitting room accommodation, psychic cost, shopping satisfaction, and patronage intention.

The sample consisted of 72 female participants aged 65 and older from a metropolitan area in Iowa. A field experiment was performed in the fitting rooms of two stimulus stores using identical measurement instruments. All 72 participants first visited a TJ Maxx store (low level of fitting room accommodation), and for second shopping trip, they were randomly divided into two groups of equal size: one group (experimental group) visited a Talbots store and the other group (control group) visited the TJ Maxx store again. Participants completed a short demographic questionnaire, competence level, and store image before the first shopping trip. After trying on selected outfits including pants in the fitting rooms, the participants completed a questionnaire.

A series of principal component analyses with Varimax rotation were performed to discover the dimensionalities of psychic cost, shopping satisfaction, and patronage intention. In addition, confirmatory factor analysis was performed to confirm the two-factor structure of psychic cost (physical and social environment psychic costs), and the factor structure of shopping satisfaction and patronage intention.

An independent samples t-test was employed to determine the differences between the experimental group and control group for the following variables: physical environment psychic cost, social environmental psychic cost, shopping satisfaction, and patronage intention. Results indicated that there were significant differences between the two groups of older consumers for each variable. The paired samples t-test was employed to determine the differences between pretest and posttest for both groups. Results revealed that there was a significant mean difference in all variables between pretest and posttest for the experimental group, whereas there was no statistically significant difference between pretest and posttest scores for the control group.

Analysis of covariance was used to determine the effect of level of fitting room accommodation on psychic cost and shopping satisfaction. The level of fitting room accommodation was associated with statistically significant positive effects on both physical and social psychic costs and on shopping satisfaction. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine the interaction effect of fitting room accommodation level and individual competence level on psychic cost. Results revealed that lower competency increased each of the both psychic costs associates with the unaccommodating fitting room environment. In addition, regression result showed a positive relationship between satisfaction and older consumers' patronage intention. Thus, all eight hypotheses were supported.

This study offered implications for retailers, store designers, policy makers, and academia. Several suggestions for future research were discussed.


Copyright Owner

Kyungnam Seo



File Format


File Size

151 pages