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Objects of Desire: Consumer Behaviour in Shopping Centre Choices PDF Print E-mail
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By Prof. Charles Dennis


What determines where people shop? Why would people visit one shopping centre rather than another? These questions are important to developers, backers, planners and Government. In addition, there is a need to understand shopping as a fundamental feature of modern society. Attributes such as transport links, parking and choice of major stores are well known as determinants of shopping centre success - but some centres are only 50% let twelve months after opening. This paper is based on an empirical investigation, carried out over a three-year period, of four UK shopping centres, ranging in size from a large out-of town regional centre to a small in-town sub-regional centre. Further data are added from a related study, the total number of respondents at all six centres being 287. Other researchers have used questionnaire surveys based on the respondents’ perceptions of the importance or ratings of attributes of shopping centres. Another approach is the attempt to measure the distinctiveness of attributes. This study combines importance, rating and distinctiveness. A further innovation is to weight attributes according to the degree of association with shoppers' spending. A methodology is thus proposed for identifying the most critical attributes. Some differences have been observed between shopper groups such as male/female or type of transport, and these differences can be used in planning a shopping centre marketing strategy. Many of the critical attributes are not consistent between centres and the results indicate ways in which each centre might have scope for improvement.

Keywords: Shopping centres; Image; Attractiveness

Citation: Dennis C E (2005) Objects of Desire: Consumer Behaviour in Shopping Centre Choices, London, Palgrave