Geography – Chippenham Study Essay

My coursework is based upon discovering whether there is a pattern in the location of Chippenham’s retail. Chippenham is a medium size town in the north-west of Wiltshire, which itself is found in the south-west of England. Swindon is the main city in Wiltshire, but Bristol and the roman city of Bath are the main cities in Chippenham’s locality; both within 30 miles of Chippenham.

The main train line which runs directly through Chippenham links London Paddington and Cardiff Central and the M4 motorway, from London to Llanelli, links Chippenham to the national roadways. The area council that Chippenham is governed by is the NWDC (North Wiltshire District Council). The river Avon also runs through the town.’Pattern of retailing’ means a description of the structure the shops in a town are built in and if there were any key features which made them build in their particular locations rather than others within Chippenham.

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The pattern that I am expecting to find is a centralisation of shops in two separate locations. One of the locations would be the high street, which is perpendicular to the river Avon; and the second location being the business/retail parks located around and about Chippenham, such as Hathaway, which is adjacent to the train station and Bumpers Farm, located on the rural urban fringe on the way to the small village of Allington.There are a few reasons for this such as the location is easy to reach from many areas, the fact other shops are their would attract passers-by as well as people who are looking for the shop.Chippenham has a population of approximately 28,065 and boasts many chain stores and multi-national corporations such as Starbucks and McDonalds.

It is vying to become an Olympic village due to its close proximity to Bath University (one of the country’s top sporting colleges). Chippenham also has its own historic landmarks such as the Buttercross. Chippenham’s biggest companies are Hygrade and Westinghouse.My MethodologyTown Centre Pedestrian CountI were trying find out the number of pedestrians travelling through town. My prediction is there will be an increase of people towards the centre of town as that is where the shops are located.To begin with I obtained a map of the area; I then drew a grid on it. The reason for this was to ensure I got a fair and even sample. After this was completed I travelled into town to complete the experiment.

I travelled to the centre of each of my grid squares and for five minutes counted the number of people who passed me. After completing this I created a chloropleth map which displayed the concentrations of pedestrians in each square of my map.I began our survey by the Buttercross; I then approached lots of people who refused to answer. I eventually gathered 20 sets of data from the same spot and placed this collected data into a table, I then developed this into a graph to display this data and make it easier to use for later work.High Street Shop QuestionnaireI was trying to discover how the different types of shops in Chippenham are spread.I began by obtaining more maps this time and forming a key to make marking the shops easier, I then travelled to town once again and began to mark the shops I saw on the given maps.

Once this was done I returned to the classroom and made a neat copy of them so that I was more able to complete later work using them. I then marked the chain shops with a star to make them noticeable.”Chain stores are a range of retail outlets which share a brand and central management, usually with standardised business methods and practices. Such stores may be branches owned by one company or franchises owned by local individuals or firms and operated under contract with the parent corporation. Features common to all chains are centralised marketing and purchasing, which often result in economies of scale, meaning lower costs and presumably higher profits.” – WikipediaMorrison’s/Sainsbury’s QuestionnaireI was trying to discover peoples shopping habits and their reasoning fro shopping at the major out of town shopping centres such as Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s. To do this I developed a questionnaire to use.

I made my questionnaire using closed questions so the responses were easily able to be displayed on a graph or table. As the local stores were discontented with school children disrupting and off-putting business, I decided to ask friends and family instead. This was still effective and gave me a good result to work with.Shop LocationsMy diagrams of the shop locations in Chippenham showed an interesting image. It showed that the further from the centre of town that you travel the fewer chain stores there were. This is probably as the land right in the centre of town in the most expensive and only the big, wealthy chain stores could afford to build on the land there. They occupied the prime locations thus improving their own business and reducing the other stores.

These locations were inside the major retail centres such as Emery Gate and Borough Parade.Despite much searching I was unable to find any pattern to the shop which sell high order to low order goods. There was a fair spread. The further from the town centre there was still a spread of high to low order good stores. This may be because Chippenham is an old town and the high street just doesn’t have the capabilities to support an entire high order good store just due to the size that they need.From my diagram I was able to deduce the fact that many of the clothes shops were clustered together whilst the large general goods stores were spread by a fair distance. I was unable to see anymore things of that nature.

Pedestrian CountLooking at my pedestrian count map, I can see there is a clear centralisation of pedestrians around the town centre and the shopping centre areas such as Emery Gate and Borough Parade. There were very few people in other locations; however the reason for this may be, in cases such as station hill, there is a lack of shops for every day use. The only types of shops upon the hill are specialist shops such as a car garage and a motorbike store. This would reduce the people travelling up there by removing their reasons for going there in the first place.

Also past that point there is nothing so there would be no people travelling through the area.In the High Street, there were an increased number of people at the north-eastern end of it. This probably caused by the fact there are many areas of interest there, such as access to Borough Parade and Monkton Park.CBD QuestionnaireI created a questionnaire to investigate the pedestrians of Chippenham’s reasons for using the high-street and opinions on the banning of cars from it.I then engaged in a group discussion and developed a variety of closed questions (questions which can only have certain answers) that would provide the information we needed.

CBD QuestionnaireCBD Questionnaire ResultsThis graph (above) shows the frequency people travel to Chippenham’s CBD to shop. It shows a clear majority of 34 people shop occasionally whilst a large proportion of 62 shop more often then that.My next graph (above) shows how the people I surveyed travelled to Chippenham. Again a clear majority is visible. Around 45% of people said that they walked into the town. This may show that the majority of the people live fairly near the CBD. However the next largest chunk was by motor vehicles of various types.

Cars were the main use however bus was a popular choice. Public transport was widely used, which is a good sign of the usefulness of the links Chippenham has. Finally the numbers of people cycling were small, possibly due to the pedestrianisation I am investigating next.

My next graph (above) shows peoples opinions on the pedestrianisation of the Chippenham high street. The vast majority show a strong preference for it with 30 people displaying a +3 response. A fairly strong positive correlation of the results can be seen with the next largest station being +2This graph (below) shows the items the shoppers usually buy when coming to Chippenham. There isn’t as clear a majority as there was on the previous graphs however the main choice of food exceeds the others my at least 17 and electrical goods is clearly the least bought at 19.

There are few large electrical goods stores in Chippenham’s CBD whilst there is a large out of town store so this could be an explanation.My next graph (below) illustrates the proportions of men and women who were interviewed in the town centre. A clear domination of women was seen. This could revert back to the hunter gatherer instinct where the men are out providing and ‘hunting’ for the food and resources needed to support his family. However the survey took place during a lunch period so this is inconclusive as men may just have had their breaks at different times.

My penultimate graphs (above) are linked; they both show the use of the major superstores in Chippenham. Over 85% of people use the superstores Chippenham provides and of those who answered yes, 60% of people said they shop weekly. This may be due to the remote location of the shops or could just be because of the car links meaning that the people are able to use cars to move the goods around.My final graph shows how an increase in chain stores draws an increase of pedestrians to the area. This is most likely a equally reliant relationship; as more pedestrians shop in a town, more chain stores would locate there, however as more chain stores opened to meet the demand, more pedestrians would travel to the town; therefore increasing the total amount of people.How Have the Patterns of Retailing Changed In Chippenham?For this I will use Sainsbury’s as a case study.

Sainsbury’s used to be in the centre of Chippenham, located inside the shopping centre of Borough Parade, which in turn is on Chippenham high street; perpendicular to the A420. It was around other chain shops such as Argos and Littlewoods; it was also near the Borough Parade car park. This was convenient for shoppers as it meant goods did not have to be transported too far. It has now moved towards the bypass and the nearby town of Corsham. This served multiple purposes such as access for more than just Chippenham and more room for expansion. It is on the junction between the A4 (Bath Road) and the A350 (West Cepen Way). It is now part of a mini-complex containing a McDonalds and a Honda garage.

It is also surrounded by a housing estate. Sainsbury’s found a new location and moved in the year of 1994.Sainsbury’s relocated from the town centre for a variety of reasons.

One of the main reasons was the factor of space. Being in the centre of town restricted the available space for expansion; Sainsbury’s being a large chain store was in popular demand and often filled the mediocre sized car park(201 spaces) so relocating was necessary. By movingSainsbury’s also dramatically and rapidly increased its customer base as it was now within an acceptable distance to the residents of Corsham, another local town, (within 10 miles). It was able to increase the car spaces to 540 and didn’t have to share the spaces with other, smaller shops.

Another reason for the change of space was to increase the customers using the store. As I mentioned before it opened up to another town and was also more open to the people unwilling to travel to the town centre to shop. Being located on the by-pass around the town, it attracted much commerce from people passing through and buying goods. The expansion also allowed broadening into more varieties of goods, changing it from a food store to a superstore stocking televisions and various other similar high order goods.

An additional motive for relocation was to free up the congestion the area suffered. The town centre has poor transport links and this restricted the use of the location. Locating on the by-pass meant that the shop was able to develop a large space and have it open for the public with little traffic. This made the shop increasingly popular and annunciates my previous point. It also meant that the shop helped the other businesses in the town centre to free up as it was by far the most in demand central store. Many other shops have done this in the area. This has caused a doughnut effect in Chippenham. However it is still in progress so the effect shall become more pronounced and increased.

Many other shops have done this in the area. This has caused a doughnut effect in Chippenham. However it is still in progress so the effect shall become more pronounced and increased.For example, in the centre of Chippenham, there is a collection of food and high order stores and banks, the reason for the centralisation ofMorrison’s QuestionnaireMy QuestionnaireResults GraphsThis graph clearly shows a large proportion of male over female shoppers. This may also be relevant to the hunter gatherer theory mentioned earlier. However my number of people questioned in total was fairly low so this may have affected my results.

My next graph shows how the main proportion of shoppers in the two shops was middle aged. Only a few people were out of the 30-50 age range. This may be as the area is an expensive one; only people established in well paying jobs will be able to live here, the majority of which are middle aged.This next graph shows the methods of transport to the supermarkets. There is a large number of car drivers compared to any other.

This is probably a direct result from the huge car parks each supermarkets boast.My next graph (below) shows the reasons people shop at the huge chain stores. It shows a lot of them shop at Sainsbury’s for the price however the location of the store is the bigger factor. This surprised me as the fact the stores are out of town seems like a reason not to go to that particular storeMy next graph (below) shows how often people shop at these stores. Only a few people went daily and after further questioning it proved they lived locally.

Most people did one giant shop and only went fortnightly; again this is most likely due to the car park and the convenience of having a car near your shop.Local AreaPopulation vs. ServicesIn this section, I will investigate how population affects the services a town or village supports. I expect that the larger the population, the more services the town will have. This is because due to the increased population size, shops would need to meet demand, and would therefore increase in size and number.DataGraphThis graph, and the attached data, clearly support the idea that population increases the number of services in any given town. For example, Chippenham, with a population just over double that of Calne, has almost 3 times the individual services.

AnalysisShop LocationsHigh/Low Order Shop LocationsFrom my findings I am able to deduce that High-Order goods stores tended to be in the town centre in towns the size of Chippenham and smaller. However I also noticed that a trend began to happen in Chippenham as high order goods stores began to follow the doughnut effect to relocate to the outside of town. Shops such as the Honda Garage, Sainsbury’s and B;Q illustrate and follow this movement. This tendency was noticeable in many towns the size of Chippenham or bigger.The vacant spaces left by the high order stores which left the high street have let many low-order good structures take their places. There are still a few high-order stores in the town centre, but these are decreasing as the doughnut effect comes into effect as Chippenham grows.Chain/Local Store LocationsMost of the chain stores occupy the space outside Chippenham.

The reasons for this would be factors such as cheaper land for them to expand into. The other chain stores were in the prime land of the shopping centres as Borough Parade and Emery Gate. Shops such as Argos and New Look occupy those structures.Local stores tended to fit in around these shops in smaller plots and less open areas.


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