Problem definition: Brick-and-Mortar (B&M) retailers must enhance the customer in-store experience to better compete with online retailers. Fitting rooms in B&M stores play a critical role in the customer experience as a venue to experience products and examine alternatives. High traffic in fitting rooms, however, obstructs the customer’s ability to choose a product. In this paper, we (1) examine the impact of fitting-room traffic on store performance using archival data, (2) identify phantom stockouts as a plausible mechanism for this impact, and (3) provide a potential solution and quantify the magnitude of its impact using two field experiments.
Note: Research papers posted on SSRN, including any findings, may differ from the final version chosen for publication in academic journals.