The paper aims to contribute to consumer behavior and urban marketing literature by examining how combinations of specific elements of the urban environment (external design, space layout and functionality and general interior design) influence consumers’ service quality perceptions and patronage behaviors. The proposed framework is based on servicescape and retail management literature and is tested through an empirical survey in the historical town centre of Benevento (Italy). Results show that two elements of the urban environment (space layout and functionality and general interior design) play a significant role in determining service quality perception and that such perceptions, in turn, are able to affect behavioral intentions and desire to stay in the urban area. The author concludes with the discussion of the of the academic contribution of the paper and of the related implications for the management of urban centres.
Keywords: Physical environment, service quality, servicescape, urban marketing