Original Research

Store atmospherics and apparel behavioural intentions: The moderating effect of urban bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers’ age

Bianca M. van Niekerk, Mornay Roberts-Lombard, Nicole Cunningham
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 27, No 1 | a5239 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v27i1.5239 | © 2024 Bianca M. van Niekerk, Mornay Roberts-Lombard, Nicole Cunningham | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 July 2023 | Published: 04 March 2024

About the author(s)

Bianca M. van Niekerk, Department of Marketing Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Mornay Roberts-Lombard, Private, Cape Town, South Africa
Nicole Cunningham, Department of Marketing Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: Bottom-of-the-pyramid (BOP) consumers’ significant discretionary purchases of non-essential products, such as apparel, contribute to retail growth. In a turbulent retail environment, store atmospherics presents an innovative cost-effective solution to incorporate BOP consumers’ unique motivations for desired apparel behavioural intentions to grow market share.

Aim: This study aims to fill the knowledge gap regarding a systematic review of store atmospherics on urban BOP consumers’ apparel behavioural intentions in an emerging African market. This study also proposes various purchase antecedents to attitudes, which drive apparel behavioural intentions. The moderation effect of age is investigated to understand the change in purchase antecedents related to attitudes among different urban BOP age groups.

Setting: Interviewer-administered surveys was conducted among urban BOP consumers in Namibia’s main urban areas.

Method: A sample of 881 respondents was selected by purposive, interlocking and convenience sampling methods. Covariance-based structural equation modelling (SEM) confirmed the significant relationships between all constructs in the proposed model.

Results: The systematic link between store atmospherics and urban BOP apparel behavioural intentions is primarily because of consumers’ perceived value, trust and attitudes. Urban BOP consumers’ perceived value, anticipatory emotions and attitudes are moderated by age.

Conclusion: Overall, this study sheds light on the differences between young and old urban BOP consumers and how they differ or coincide with age groups in more affluent segments. In order to adequately segment the urban BOP market, apparel retailers should emphasise on affordability, quality, emotional goal attainment and trust in their store atmospherics.

Contribution: In the broad context of store atmospherics, this study specifically uses age categories as a lens to provide valuable insights concerning age differences in urban bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers’ perception of store atmospherics which influences their apparel behavioural intentions. Further, this study solidifies that different age categories amongst urban bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers bring forth different behavioural intentions to which marketers should adapt their store atmospheric strategies.



store atmospherics; apparel; urban BOP consumers; attitude; behavioural intention; age

JEL Codes

L67: Other Consumer Nondurables: Clothing, Textiles, Shoes, and Leather Goods; Household Goods; Sports Equipment; L81: Retail and Wholesale Trade • e-Commerce; M31: Marketing

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities


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