Academic Master



Carlson et al. (1998) examine the response time taken by retail store assistants based on customers’ apparel and whether they are carrying bags. The article “The Effects of Bags & Apparel on Retailers’ Response Time” bases its hypothesis on the aspect of stigmatization and profiling. Thus, the hypothesis points out that the response time of clerks in retail stores is dependent on consumers clothing and whether they are carrying a bag. In essence, officially dressed consumers and those carrying shopping bags receive services faster as compared to those without bags or casually dressed. The study is vital since it examines the role played by consumer profiling in service delivery.

The research study employs observation as a means of acquiring the intended information on response time. According to Carlson et al. (1998), the process involved six individuals who acted as potential customers while timing the period it would take before sales clerks offered to assist. The experimenters would visit the selected store on two occasions while dressed in official and casual attire and in one case having bags. The results found a correlation between consumers smartly dressed or with bags and a quicker response from the sales clerks. In essence, dressing or carrying bags implies to the ability of a consumer making a purchase; thus attracting the attention of the sales clerk. Hence, ascertaining the hypothesis of the study as stipulated by Carlson et al. (1998), that response time is affected by bags and apparel.

The results of the research study add upon the numerous experiments on factors that influence the response time of sales clerks in the store. Moreover, it contributes to understating how various circumstances affect perception. Thereby, the awareness of existing stereotype would assist both consumers and retailers in ensuring the provision of quality services.


Carlson L., Dalton A., Glass B., Robinson M., Stackhouse M., Bassman J., (1998). The Effects of Bags & Apparel on Retailers’ Response Time. PSI CHI Journal of Undergraduate Research 3(3). 127-130.



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