The Impact of Personal Space Occupation on the Effectiveness of Communication and the Psychological State of the Consumer at the Point of Sale




retail, overcrowding, density, communication, point of sales.


Communication at the point of sales is determined by a number of factors ranging from the layout of the furnishings to the establishment’ colors, sounds, and even smells. Nevertheless, another main aspect to consider, particularly following the impact of COVID 19, is the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) or the furnishings’ free space. The objective of this paper is to show that, despite the influence that the FAR has on the perception of the user at a psychological and communicative level, there is another ratio to take into consideration which demonstrates the impact of personal space occupation on communication and the consumer’s state of mind. A methodology has been designed to ascertain the consumer’s psychological and receptive status, and, moreover, to observe the influence of the number of subjects present in the commercial area. The methodology is based on a novel formula which provides a response to the need to include the number of consumers as a variable when understanding space. Our findings show that the FAR plays a key role in the user. Additionally, by comparing establishments under normal and extreme rates of occupation, the formula for the Personal Area Ratio (PAR), which also influences user perception, is validated.


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Author Biographies

María Eugenia Martínez-Sánchez , ESIC Business & Marketing School/ ESIC University

She is Marketing Bachelor's Degree Director at ESIC Business and Marketing School.  PhD in Advertising and PR from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the Universidad San Jorge (Zaragoza) and Master in Marketing and Corporate Communication from the Universidad San Jorge. Her original lines of research focus on the development of methodological tools for the study of consumer behavior at the point of sale, as well as the study of perceived values in advertising in relation to eating disorders. Subsequently, she has specialized in the use of technologies applied to Marketing. Full time professor and member of the research group Digital Transformation in Marketing (TDM) at ESIC Business and Marketing School.

Javier Bustos Díaz, ESIC Business & Marketing School/ ESIC University

He is currently Research Director and Professor Doctor at ESIC Business and Marketing School. He holds a degree in Journalism (2012) and a Master’s degree in Research in Journalistic Communication (2013).  In his academic career he has published 8 articles within the Scimago Journal & Country Rank focused on political communication, especially within social networks. Likewise, he has published a dozen book chapters on political communication, as well as on new audiovisual platforms and television, in publishers such as Tirant lo Blanch, McGraw-Hill, Gedisa, Tecnos or Pyramid among others.

Ruben Nicolas-Sans, UNIE Universidad

He is currently Academic in UNIE University. Dr Nicolas-Sans is a PhD professor accredited by ANECA and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has been a visiting scholar at the Robotics Institute (Carnegie Mellon University). His research is focused on Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transformation. Dr Nicolas-Sans has published several articles and book chapters and participated in R&D projects funded by the Spanish National Plan for Scientific and Technological Research and Innovation (National Programme for Research Aimed at the Challenges of Society) and Research Groups accredited by the Catalan Government. 


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How to Cite

Martínez-Sánchez , M. E. ., Bustos Díaz, J., & Nicolas-Sans, R. (2024). The Impact of Personal Space Occupation on the Effectiveness of Communication and the Psychological State of the Consumer at the Point of Sale. Tripodos, (54), 132–162.

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