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Store managers – the seismographs in shopping centres

Christoph Teller (Surrey Business School, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)
Andrew Alexander (Surrey Business School, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 4 November 2014




The aim of this paper is to investigate the link between store managers’ evaluation of how customers assess a shopping centre and their own evaluation of the centre and, based on that, the relevance of store managers in reflecting on and informing the management and marketing practices of the local shopping centre management.


A conceptual model is developed based on the network and boundary-spanning theories. The model is tested using a Web-based survey of 217 managers, representing stores located in shopping malls, and by applying covariance-based structural equation modelling.


The study reveals store managers to be engaging in a significant information-processing pathway, from customers’ evaluation of the shopping centre (as perceived by the store manager) to their own evaluation of the centre in terms of managerial satisfaction and loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical study focuses exclusively on shopping malls and thus does not consider other shopping centre forms such as town centres and retail parks.

Practical implications

This paper concludes that store managers have the potential to be informational boundary spanners and, thus, valuable resources to inform and give feedback to shopping centre management.


The contribution of this paper is to provide a more complete understanding of the role of the store manager as an integral actor in the shopping centre in terms of informational boundary spanning between the retail organisation, the customers and local shopping centre management.



The authors would like to thank both the referees and Professor Harmen Oppewal of Monash University for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.


Teller, C. and Alexander, A. (2014), "Store managers – the seismographs in shopping centres", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 48 No. 11/12, pp. 2127-2152.



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