Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Marketing and Fashion Merchandising

First Advisor

Jamye Foster

Advisor Department

Marketing and Fashion Merchandising


This paper examines the emotional motivations that drive consumers to shop at airport retailers. Airport retailing is a rapidly growing segment as airports continue to expand retail areas and the number of passengers increase each year. With larger retail areas, airports are beginning to resemble shopping areas. However, with higher prices and consumers experiencing time and space constraints, the airport is a very unique shopping environment. This paper explored two unique emotional motivations for shopping at airports: (1) to escape the stress of travel and (2) to eliminate boredom. Analysis of the in-depth interviews led to the development of four emotional motivators and one situation motivator. These important findings provide marketing managers with a better understanding of how the unique shopping situation impacts shopping behavior, and provide direction for marketers looking to increase airport shopping by creating a more emotionally rewarding experience for customers.