Managing the attractiveness of evolved and created retail agglomerations formats
Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to identify those attributes of created and evolved retail agglomeration formats that have a substantial impact on overall attractiveness from the consumers' point of view. From an agglomeration management perspective primary areas of concern are identified and suggestions to increase the competitiveness of diverse agglomeration formats are presented. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Through synthesizing pertinent literatures, the paper produces a conceptual framework that proposes significant impacts between ten generic agglomeration attributes and different dimensions of attractiveness. The paper then tests the hypotheses using a survey of more than 1,000 consumers of three competing agglomeration formats (a town center, a strip center, and a regional shopping mall) in a particular locality. Findings ‐ Retail-related factors and the atmosphere influence attractiveness most significantly in each of the three settings. All other factors ‐ in particular convenience related ones ‐ show only format specific relevance or are of no direct importance on the consumers' evaluation of attractiveness. Research limitations/implications ‐ The findings can only be transferred to similar retail settings and do not consider supra-regional agglomerations. Practical implications ‐ The results suggest that management of all three agglomerations is quite limited in directly influencing attractiveness. They should instead focus on the optimum selection of retail tenants and support or compliment the marketing endeavors of their tenants. Originality/value ‐ The focus is on regional retail agglomerations and considers the interdependencies between different formats in one geographical area. The in vivo survey approach takes into account the moderating effect of the shopping situation when consumers' evaluate the attractiveness of competing shopping venues.