Understanding consumer's responses to negative emotions related to crowding on satisfaction and impulse purchase in retail: the mediating role of coping

<div><p>Abstract The perception of crowding, understood as an individual's response to crowds, can be observed in retail environments and influences positive and negative emotions. In this research we test the mediating effect of coping – rational strategies adopted to deal with negative emotions – in the relationship between negative emotions (resulting from crowding perception) and consumer behavior (measured by impulse purchase and satisfaction). The findings related to coping explain to what extent there is a positive response to human density in the retail environment. For this, a theoretical model was developed which includes the relationships among perception of crowding, positive and negative emotions, and consumer behavior. The model enhances the understanding of the crowding phenomenon by including relationships mediated by an oppositional strategy (coping dimension) between negative emotions and consumer behaviors. To test the theoretical model, a survey was conducted with 456 respondents and hypothesis tests using structural equation modeling. It was evidenced that crowding perception has more robust effects on negative emotions than positive emotions. It is emphasized that with the inclusion of opposition mediation, the weak direct relationship between negative emotions and behaviors, becomes a positive relationship between negative emotion and impulse purchase, and negative emotion and satisfaction. In addition to the theoretical contributions of the tested model, future research and managerial implications are proposed at the end of the article.</p></div>