How the Perfect Temperature can Keep People in Your Shop for Longer

Naturally, retail establishments want to ensure their customers are as comfortable and happy as possible. It can be hard, however, for store owners and managers to calculate the perfect temperature for their store.

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What is the psychological effect of temperature in retail environments?

A study conducted in 2013 found that “exposure to physical warmth activates the concept of emotional warmth”. This suggests that shoppers in comfortable environments are more likely to find items in a shop they like.

The same study revealed that participants in a warm room were more likely to pay more for the products in the warm shop compared to the group assessed in the cold shop. In the context of a supermarket, it makes sense that shoppers are more likely to spend their time browsing in a dry goods section compared to a freezer, as the cold temperatures will likely make shoppers feel uncomfortable.

So, why does being warm make us feel happy? There is strong research to suggest that it has a similar impact as antidepressants. Some psychologists believe this is because a warming sensation on your skin releases electrical signals that activate the areas of the brain that process pleasant stimulation.


What temperature is best for retail environments?

According to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive), it is recommended that you endeavour to maintain a workplace temperature of at least 16°C, or 13°C if employees are required to do a lot of physical work. However, if you want to inspire your customers to stay longer in your store, heating experts typically recommend placing your thermostat between 19-20°C. This is not a universal retail rule, however, as businesses that store a lot of cold goods or have temperature-controlled areas of their store will need to take this into consideration when adjusting their heating temperature.


Can a shop be too warm?

Unfortunately, it is not as simple as setting your thermostat to a comfortable temperature and expecting your shoppers to be happy. Numerous other factors will impact the temperature of a room such as how crowded it is, if there is a draft, if your door is not sealed air-tight and whether customers are wearing coats (which they likely will be in winter.) For this reason, it is advisable to regularly check the temperature of the room and adjust it when necessary.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers suggests that being in indoor environments of 28°C for extended periods of time may result in reduced satisfaction and will therefore make employees and customers in a store feel less inclined to hang around.


How can I control the temperature of my store efficiently?

The perfect way to control the temperature of a shop is to upgrade your entrance. Incredibly energy-efficient, automatic doors briefly open to allow customers to enter comfortably before they seal shut, preventing excess heat from escaping from the building. In a strong gust of wind, they won’t be blown open either.

By regulating the temperature of a store more effectively, you won’t need to adjust your thermostat as frequently and you can welcome consistently happy, warm shoppers into an inviting atmosphere. Get it right and they won’t want to leave!