Hospitality industry has taken big strides since 2008 financial crisis and the growth has accelerated with time. Today, with over 7,00,000 hotels around the world hotel industry contributes with over $3.41 trillion to the global economy. Restaurant industry an integral part of hospitality industry had sales of around $863 billion in 2019 in the US alone and it contributed to the 4% of the total GDP of US. According to the KPMG report Hospitality sector in India is expected to reach Rs 2,796.9 thousand crore in 2022. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the tourism and hospitality sector’s direct contribution to GDP surged by 23.
6% in 2017. Total share of hospitality sector to the Indian GDP was $91.3 Billion (Rs. 5.9 Trillion) in 2017. Trade, hotel, restaurants and repairs contributed 11.46% to the Indian GDP in 2017 and the contribution of hospitality industry alone is predicted to be 9% of the Indian GDP in 2020.
Many citizens in India are directly or indirectly employed in the hospitality sector in India. Hospitality sector in India today accounts for 10% of the total employment in the country Consumption all overall the world has witnessed a gradual revolution and consumers are more developed due to which marketing of products for various industries and organizations have moved away from conventional ‘feature-benefit’ marketing towards experiential retailing.
“Experiential Retailing is an interdisciplinary and innovative concept that crosses the field of various industries businesses”. This move towards experiential marketing has happened because of three synchronous advancements in the business condition which are “omnipresence of information and technology, the supremacy of the brand, the ubiquity of communications and entertainment”.
Therefore, rise in experiential retailing lead the retailers to pay more attention towards the store atmospherics. Store atmospherics is a practice that ‘‘recognizes that a marketing environment should be carefully sculpted to both induce particular evaluations from consumers and to appeal to a specific target market”. One of the study revealed that for 63% of consumers store atmosphere influenced them to spend more time in the store, and among these 45% consumers spent more money as a result. Virtually all organizational behavior, marketing and retailing texts have mentioned that store atmospherics or physical design have great ability to influence thoughts and feelings of consumers and thus the consumer behavior. Therefore, to attract customers in this diverse and fragmented retail market, retailers have aggressively turned to retail atmospherics to create an extraordinary and an enticing shopper experience.
Dutch retailer G-Star has used atmospherics to reflect preferences of their target consumer base, so that they could keep them in a store bit longer and thereby increased their shopping frequency. Although Retail Atmospherics have been active area of focus in retailing, a glance around typical retail outlets in service or product sector indicates that many retailers do not give enough emphasis on differentiating their retail environments from competitors. The reason for this is that retailers consider various atmospheric elements like lights, music, etc. individual and make decisions regarding them on what is standard for their customers which leads to almost no differentiation. Themed Store or Themed Retailing phenomenon is at the forefront of this trend, it is an alternative approach where a ‘theme’ is used to govern the manipulation of atmospheric elements.
Themed Retailing can be termed as looking beyond traditional walls and window display methods, and immersing the customer within the brand by having them shop in a top-to-bottom themed environment. In doing so, the retailer sends across its brand message through its theme and it can turn out to be more effective approach than traditional marketing. Themed retailing enables retailers in providing tangibility to the brand and what brands stand for and offer a more multi-sensory, interactive and holistic shopping experience.
An inviting and intriguing theme is the reason that draws people to the retail outlets these days, no longer they are the place where consumers nip in and out instead consumers are spending huge amount of their leisure time in retail outlets. Particularly for the service industry such as restaurants, professional services, banks, hotels and hospitals the capability of the physical environment to influence consumer behavior and to create an image is widely evident. The primary reason for this is service is produced and consumed simultaneously i.e. the consumer is in the same physical setting as the firm. In service industry themed retail environment can be used to offer multisensory sensual opportunities and cater primarily to visual impulse to both direct and misdirect attention in ways that can be beneficial to service providers. In the service environment consumers’ emotional responses are directly proportional to their readiness to spend time and money, to evaluate, browse and consume.