Shopping and convenience: a model for retail centres

2017-06-06T01:58:40Z (GMT) by Reimers, Vaughan Clulow, Val
The unplanned retail centre (also known as the downtown centre, town centre or strip centre) continues to lose market share to the planned shopping centre. At the same time unprecedented growth in the development of the concept of 'service' in the retail sector has focussed attention on elements of customer service which influence centre patronage and store choice. A key element of service cited in retail studies is that of'convenience'. Previous studies have identified various attributes of convenience. Not until 1993 (Gehrt and Yale) were the temporal, spatial and energy/effort costs of shopping discussed. This paper offers a more inclusive definition of convenience, one that incorporates shopping costs and attributes of convenience. In doing so, it highlights the need to treat existing patronage studies with caution, and the need for research to revisit the convenience concept and to test the model proposed. Efforts to revive unplanned centres have achieved mixed success. One possible explanation is that convenience has been largely ignored as a strategy for rejuvenation.