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Spatial convenience: bridging the gap between shopping malls and shopping strips

Vaughan Reimers (Federation Business School, Federation University Australia, Churchill, Victoria, Australia)
Val Clulow (School of Business, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 7 October 2014

Abstract

Purpose

Due to rising obesity levels, declining fitness levels, an aging population, and shopper lethargy, retail planners must give serious consideration to the physical demands retail centres place on their patrons. The purpose of this paper is to determine the importance consumers assign to spatial convenience, measure how consumers perceive shopping malls and shopping strips (also referred to as the downtown area, central business district, Main Street or the High Street) in relation to it, and compare them in their provision of it.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilises a household survey of consumers and as well as a retail audit. The survey was used to identify the importance consumers assign to spatial convenience, while the retail audit was used to establish how malls and strips compare in their provision of it.

Findings

The results of the survey indicate that consumers regard spatial convenience as important and believe that malls are superior in providing it. The retail audit confirmed the accuracy of these perceptions, with the mall providing greater store compatibility, and a more compact shopping environment.

Originality/value

The influence of spatial convenience on shopping behaviour has been largely overlooked at the level of the retail centre. Moreover, those studies that have focused on this topic, have typically done so from the singular focus of either malls or strips. This study incorporates both, and does so via an empirical analysis of consumer attitudes and a spatial comparison of both retail formats.

Keywords

Citation

Reimers, V. and Clulow, V. (2014), "Spatial convenience: bridging the gap between shopping malls and shopping strips", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 42 No. 10, pp. 864-883. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-08-2013-0153

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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