Given the central proposition in services marketing that service excellence is largely determined by the interaction between customer contact personnel and customers, we examine the antecedents and consequences of role stress in a retail context both from the employee and the customer perspective. We investigate the impact of the service control versus the empowerment model on role ambiguity and role conflict and we look at the effect of these role stressor on commitment towards the organization and to delivering service quality by retail sales persons. Finally, we explore the impact on customer perceived service quality. Empirical findings reveal, among other things, that both formalization and empowerment reduce role ambiguity. Role ambiguity in turn is negatively associated with both organizational commitment and commitment to quality. The latter type of commitment has a positive impact on customer perceived quality.