The unplanned retail centre: is it designed for convenience?

2017-06-07T00:24:37Z (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. Two attributes determine the convenience afforded by the physical structure of a retail centre; its design and degree of enclosure. This study provides statistical insight into the convenience offered by these two attributes across a sample of 25 planned centres and 25 unplanned centres. Analysis showed that the majority of unplanned centres' possess linear designs. With too few stores spread over excessive distances, the cost of patronising the unplanned centre may be too prohibitive for many shoppers. The findings also indicate that, provided enclosure is valued by consumers, the planned centre holds an obvious advantage. Less than 8% of businesses in unplanned centres operate within enclosed structures such as arcades or complexes. The fact that these structures show symptoms of economic blight suggests why enclosure, in isolation, has often failed to rejuvenate the unplanned centre.

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