Impact of Infectious Disease Risk Perception on Perceived Retail Crowding: With Special Reference to Retail Industry in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Journal of Entrepreneurship 2 (1):28-38 (2020)
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Abstract

The global pandemic of COVID 19 has changed consumer behaviour to reduce the risk. This is common for all interpersonal interactions of individuals especially in maintaining the recommended interpersonal distance based on the recommendations from the health experts. Sri Lanka as a developing country affected by COVID 19, observed changes in individuals' day today’ consumption decision making due to pandemic. Importantly the retailing sector is highly influenced by the conditions since the frequency of interpersonal interactions and degree of interaction is higher in the retailing sector. Interestingly the retailing sector with its largest contributor, the SMEs need to identify the unique changes that happen to the consumer behaviour in responding to them. Accordingly, the objective of the study is to examine the impact of infectious disease risk on the perceived retail crowding in two perspectives of human density and the spatial density. The study has used a quantitative survey in collecting data with the online self-administrated questionnaire with a sample of 100 consumers. Data analysis has been done by using a PLS-SEM with the support of SmartPLS version 3. The key findings of the study emphasize the significant positive influence of infectious disease risk on human density as well as on the spatial density. Based on the findings the study attempts to provide the implications for the retailing industry to cope with situational changes in the environment.

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