Design recommedations for the cash wrap area within the retail setting based on user perceptions

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Virginia Tech

An essential area within every store's environment is the cash wrap area. This study was conducted to identify user needs and expectations of the cash wrap area in retail stores and to develop design recommendations. Women's apparel specialty stores in vicinity of Virginia Tech, and two women's groups at Virginia Tech were selected for the study. The study consisted of (1) a survey to assess employee perceptions of the cash wrap area; (2) a survey to assess the customer perceptions of the cash wrap area; and (3) field measurements of cash wrap areas in participating stores.

The surveys were divided into the following four sections: (1) environmental dimensions, (2) ideal conditions for the cash wrap area, (3) open ended questions on the cash wrap area design, and (4) demographic information. Respondents were asked to divide 100 points among the environmental dimensions (ambient conditions, space and function, and signs, symbols and artifacts) to indicate their relative importance; and to agree or disagree on a six - point Likert scale. Mean values for the variables were calculated separately for both employees and customers. Field measurements of the cash wrap areas were documented in seven of the participating women's apparel specialty stores.

The data were analyzed descriptively and statistically. A significant finding was that customers regard the environmental dimension of space and function to be most important. Ideal conditions identified by customers and employees were itemized. The results indicated that employees have high expectations about their work environment and what they hope to accomplish within it. Responses to the open-ended questions were categorized and prioritized. Design recommendations were developed and categorized into: general recommendations, cash wrap area size recommendations, design feature recommendations, design recommendations specific to employee needs, and ADA design recommendations.

retail design, interior design, cash wrap area