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.
- Hispanic customers