Coskun, Gupta, and Burpaz studied how in-store crowds and store neatness influence shoppers’ behaviors. They report that “each participant in one of the four conditions was shown visuals of a store. . . . in the low crowded conditions, two people were visible in the visuals but in the high crowded condition, 14 people were visible. In the low messy condition, merchandise was organized well on the displays and racks, but in the high messy condition, merchandise was scattered. . . . Retailers may suffer from shoppers' avoidance intentions based on a complex store environment due to human crowding and merchandise messiness. . . . consumers are more likely to be irritated and inefficient when stores are highly crowded and messy. . . consumers pursuing recreational shopping motivations are more likely to exhibit negative effects from retail shopper confusion on in-store exploration and time spent if the stores are crowded and messy.” So, consumers are likely to try to avoid crowded messy stores and they are more likely to be irritated, inefficient shoppers when they’re in them.
Merve Coskun, Shipra Gupta, and Sebnem Burpaz. 2019. “Human Crowding and Store Messiness: Drivers of Retail Shopper Confusion and Behavioral Intentions.” Journal of Consumer Behaviour, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 313-331, https://doi.org/10.1002/cb.1772