Retail concentration: a comparison of spatial convenience in planned and un-planned centres.

2017-06-08T02:26:57Z (GMT) by Reimers, Vaughan Clulow, Val
The emergence of the internet and a more discerning consumer has created the need for traditional retail centres to provide a more convenient shopping environment. A retail centre offers convenience when it minimises the spatial, temporal and effort costs of shopping. Existing strategies for spatial convenience include controlling the size of the centre by restricting the number of businesses, creating a more compact physical design, limiting the entry of non-retail firms and creating compatible clusters. The authors' propose an alternative method; the degree of retail concentration. This study provides statistical insight into the degree of retail concentration offered by a sample of 9 planned centres and 9 unplanned centres. The findings yielded three important insights. Firstly, across the three tests for retail concentration, the planned centre was found to offer consumers' greater shopping convenience. Secondly, the findings add support to the notion that the demise of the unplanned centre could be linked to its inability to satisfy the needs of a convenience-oriented society. And thirdly, while the un-planned centre may be at a competitive disadvantage in terms of spatial convenience, market mechanisms such as Bid Rent Theory provided a better-than-expected spatial juxtapositioning of its businesses.