Shopping streets versus shopping malls - determinants of agglomeration format attractiveness from the consumers' point of view

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The decline of shopping streets and the rise of shopping malls have been major trends in European retailing for decades. So far, research has failed to investigate this shift of agglomeration format (AF) patronage from a marketing perspective, including the consumers' point of view. This paper presents a theoretical discussion of the generic similarities and conceptual differences between shopping streets and shopping malls. Subsequently, the AF-specific characteristics perceived by consumers are compared and discussed with respect to their impact on agglomeration attractiveness. This leads to the development of a conceptual framework which is empirically tested using a web-based survey of almost 1000 consumers representing a typical urban central European retail market. The relative importance of nine distinctive AF characteristics on attractiveness was analysed using structural equation modelling. The findings proved to be quite similar for both shopping streets and shopping malls; the retail tenant mix and atmosphere had the highest relative importance.

Keywords: agglomeration format; agglomeration marketing; retail agglomeration; retail patronage; shopping mall; shopping street

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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