S. Renko1, A. Grilec2, M.A. Omazić1

1University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business (CROATIA)
2The College of Fashion and Design Dubai (CFD) (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
Many studies have shown the effect of colour on shopping behaviour. However, although some retailers have embraced colour into their brand design and successfully carried this through to their store design, many retailers restrict the use of colour in the store to only trim and signage, using neutral colours and materials for much of the store interior. This paper is focused on the usage of colours in 'creating a shopping experience' in luxury stores, as consumers are always expecting more in such stores. Furthermore, the paper emphasizes colour as one of the main elements of the interior design in luxury stores.

To find out the effect of colour on a consumers` experience, a quantitative study of a sample of 319 Croatian student consumers was conducted. The research instrument consists of questions about how often the consumers visit luxury stores, which colours they prefer to find there, and how they feel in stores that use specific colours or how the colours affect their overall shopping experience.

The survey results indicate that retailers adapt their interior design to different markets, taking into account the markets` size, consumers` consumption power and preferences. The results of the study among Croatian consumers show that black and beige are colours that are almost always associated with higher prices and luxury. Many retailers are not aware of that, and if they use those colours, they use them spontaneously.

Practical Implications:
The results of the paper would give some educational directions for the subjects involved in selling luxury goods to devise ways to manage colour in creating an interior design to create the desired customer experience.

The value of this paper lies in the specific market included in this research, the emerging market, where luxury items and stores still have presented a niche market. The results of this research show we can use colours to educate retailers, attract consumers, and to increase their preferences towards luxury stores.