How do shopping patterns vary between an out of town centre and a neighbourhood centre? Essay

I am going to compare the shopping patterns between two different types of shopping centres: An out of town shopping centre (Bridgend designer outlet) and a local shopping centre (Fairway).

I designed a questionnaire and went to the two outlets, filling in the questionnaires. We did this as a group and then looked at the results, in our group we completed in total 100 questionnaires in both areas so we had a reliable source of information to look at.

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Then we needed to find the difference between the two shopping centres, for example: age bracket of people, type of items purchased in the area. The scope of my inquiry is:

To explore how shopping patterns vary between an out of town shopping centre and a neighbourhood shopping centre and to find out why these differences exist.

My aim for the coursework is to answer the question above, to do this I must test the 5 hypotheses, listed below. I will be proving/disapproving each one and how they affect the shopping patterns of each shopping centre.

Hypotheses

I am going to prove/disprove 5 hypotheses about Bridgend designer outlet and fairway.

1. People spend more money in Bridgend designer outlet.

2. People tend to buy more convenience items at fairway.

3. People use more transport to Bridgend designer outlet.

4. Local shopping centres are more environmentally friendly than retail parks.

5. People go to their local shopping centre a lot more than they go to and out of town shopping centre.

Later on I will be specifically talking about each statement and proving/disproving them.

Summary of Shopping Centres

Bridgend designer outlet

Bridgend designer outlet is a large shopping centre out of town, situated between a number of large towns and cities it gets a lot of custom as it can be accessed easily via the M4 motorway and rail system. On the following page is a map showing the location of Bridgend designer outlet and also Fairway. Bridgend designer outlet is mainly for comparison items like clothes, fancy goods and electrical items, selling a wider range and more expensive things than Fairways. This outlet was built with permission from the council on a green belt zone. The outlet has over 90+ big name stores with famous sports names such as Adidas, Nike and Reebok, all selling discounted goods. There are also stores that sell electrical goods such as kettles, mixers, toasters, deep fat fryers etc.

Other stores sell products such as clothing, jewellery, mobile phones, shoes, china and many more high comparison goods. Big names like Next, Marks and Spencer, Gap, Whittard, Clarks, Mexx, Levi’s etc all trade under one roof. In the outlet there are caf�s to stop for a break while shopping such as the world famous Starbuck’s or Costa coffee. There are several shops selling a wide variety of chocolate products such as Thornton’s and Cadburys. At one end there is a very large food court where you can buy anything to eat from fish and chips, burgers, sandwiches to pizza.

Fairway

Fairway is located on the Sandfields estate. It consists of a line of shops that sell mainly convenience goods; I have placed its location on the map below. These shops are used mostly by local people for day-to-day goods for example bread, cheese and milk. These shops are not as easy to locate as the Bridgend Designer Outlet. Fairway is situated in the middle of the Sandfields Estate so its custom is restricted to the housing area around the shops and within a mile or so radius. ”Afan Way” which is a main road running from Port Talbot town to Baglan gives good access to Fairway which may bring in customers. Some of these shops include- Video world, Jersey bakery, Phil’s chip shop, Spar, Sunseekers, Davies family butchers and the post office.

Data collection-(Methodology)

The following is the exact process I went through in order to obtain 100 questionnaire results and a complete land use map for both Bridgend designer outlet and Fairway.

Before going to go to Bridgend designer outlet I created a blank questionnaire. We went as a group of 10 pupils to the Bridgend designer outlet to gather 10 questionnaires each which added up to 100 in total. When we were in Bridgend designer outlet we split into pairs and small groups and went around the outlet asking shoppers politely to help complete the questionnaire for us. We each gathered our 10 questionnaires and then recorded our results using a tally system.

We took our questionnaires to Fairway and carried out the same procedure. We collected 10 questionnaires each and had 100 in total at the end, we used a tally system to collect our information.

Summary of Questionnaires

After completing the 10-11 questionnaires I was given we tallied up our results on the schools computer system. This questionnaire helped us and gave us information on the shopping traits between Fairway and the Bridgend designer outlet. The questions I asked were all relevant and most contributed extremely well in the coursework I done. I used the information from the questionnaires in each of my 5 hypotheses via the use of bar graphs and frequency charts. The questionnaire was made simple and was easy and quick to fill in when we asked the shoppers the questions.

On the next few pages can be found:

* Pictures of Fairways and Bridgend Designer outlet

* Annotated and descriptions of maps

* A copy of a blank questionnaire

* A copy of a completed questionnaire

* A summary of the questionnaires and how they helped us.

Pictures of Fairway

Pictures of Bridgend designer outlet.

The shops here are mainly for comparison goods like electrical and clothing. The food court shown above contains the most well known fast food restaurants ranging from burgers to pizza you can get anything you want here.

Hypothesis 1

In my first hypothesis I am going to prove/disprove the following statement:

”People spend more money in Bridgend designer outlet.”

The bar graph above shows the amount spent on average in the two shopping centres, Bridgend designer outlet clearly gets more money spent there as they sell higher value goods like electrical (toasters, televisions etc) and clothing. Fairway is mainly for convenience foods, and low cost services. Bridgend designer outlet gets more money spent there as people go there less often than they do to Fairway so they tend to buy what they need all in one day. With Fairway people go there more frequently but spend less money on a daily basis.

Hypothesis 2

In my second hypothesis I am going to prove/disapprove the following statement:

”People buy more food at Fairway”

The graph proves that far more people spend money on everyday food at Fairway. The only money spent on food in the designer outlet is either in the food court on meals/takeaways, or in the chocolate shops. Customers spend on average twelve times the amount of money on food at Fairway than they do in the Bridgend designer outlet. So to conclude this statement, more people go to fairways for food, but people do buy food at the outlet as they can go to the restaurants located in the food court, also they can purchase food and drinks at the several cafes such as Starbuck’s and Costa coffee.

Hypothesis 3

In my third hypothesis I am going to prove/disprove the following statement:

”People use more transport to Bridgend designer outlet”

As shown above more people use transport to get to Bridgend designer outlet than they do to get to Fairway. This is because Fairway is a local shopping centre and people live within walking distance to it. Bridgend designer outlet has been situated in an area were it attracts customers from towns and cites located around South Wales. To visit the outlet people have to travel by car, bus, motorbike, taxi and other means of transport.

Hypothesis 4

In my fourth hypothesis I am going to prove/disprove the following statement:

”Local shopping centres are more environmentally friendly than retail parks”

As shown above, the majority of people chose to walk to Fairway as they live close to the shops, and the people who live further away just take a short car journey. This is more convenient as if you live close; walking is the best option, as it also doesn’t contribute to the greenhouse effect as driving a car would. There is also a problem with driving a car as there is very limited parking space available. Here is a picture showing this-

Hypothesis 5

In my fifth hypothesis I am going to prove/disprove the following statement:

” People go to their local shopping centre a lot more than they go to and out of town shopping centre.”

I have made 2 bar graphs showing the results we got from Fairway and the Bridgend designer outlet these 2 bar graphs represent the peoples shopping patterns. As you can see the local shops get used a lot more frequently than an out of town shopping centre. A reason for this could be that the people can go to their local shopping centre within a few minutes of walking or a short car journey. Because Bridgend designer outlet is situated in a position where people can shop from all around South Wales, it’s not a place were you can get too quickly. Reasons differ why people shop where they do, going to a local shopping centre is mainly for convenience goods and at the Bridgend designer outlet is mainly for comparison goods which are more expensive and you wouldn’t normally buy everyday.

Conclusion

In conclusion, people use local shops more often but spend less than in retail parks. They also tend to buy food or convenience items at local shops but luxury items at retail parks. Local shops are more eco friendly as most visitors walk there, leaving out the harmful carbon dioxide gas which contributes to global warming.

Most of the shops at Bridgend designer outlet have websites where you can buy products online from home without needing to travel to your nearest outlet. In most cases you can have it delivered straight to your door for a small fee. Some examples of internet shopping are as follows-

At the Bridgend designer outlet there is an Adidas outlet. This is a well known sports brand and has many outlets across the U.K. This screenshot shows you what typical internet shopping is.

On the shopping sites there is information on how you receive your purchases and other information on returning items. The sites give a detailed description on the items. You’re able to choose your size simply by clicking on it. After you have finished shopping online enter your details so that your purchases can be sent to the correct address. Payments are usually made by credit card.

Tourism also plays a big part with the Bridgend designer outlet. There is a cinema located next to the food courts where all the fast food restaurants (McDonalds, Pizza hut, etc) are found. This encourages people to come here and the people can do some shopping while they’re here. The outlet also provides services for motorists; they can stop for a rest or refreshments.

The map above demonstrates the large area served by the designer outlet. The motorway and A-road network means that many large urban centres such as Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, Bristol and Gloucester are within easy reach. This helps to secure the long term future of the retail park. Inside the red rings are how many customers are within a 90, 60 and 30 minute radius. In this case there’s 4.2 million within 90 minutes, 2.4 million within 60 minutes and 1.3 million within 30 minutes.

Contents-

1. Title page.

2. Aim of coursework.

3. My 5 hypotheses.

4. Introduction of Bridgend designer outlet.

5. Introduction of Fairways.

6. Map of the locations of these 2 shopping centres.

7. Data collection-(methodology).

8. Summary of questionnaires.

9. Pictures of Fairway.

10. Land use map for Fairway.

11. Pictures of the Bridgend designer outlet.

12. Land use map for the Bridgend designer outlet.

13. Annotated maps of both centres also described.

14. Filled in questionnaire on both centres.

15. A blank questionnaire.

16. Hypothesis1.

17. Hypothesis2.

18. Hypothesis3.

19. Hypothesis4.

20. Hypothesis5.

21. Conclusion.

22. Internet shopping.

23. Tourism.

24. Transport.

25. Sphere of influence for both shopping centres.

26. Evaluation.

Evaluation

After completing my coursework I felt happy overall as I have gone over each point carefully and given detailed answers and included graphs (mostly bar graphs) were necessary. I am going to talk about my coursework’s strengths and weaknesses. I will also talk about how to improve them.

Strengths

The strengths of the coursework are that I have gone over my 5 hypotheses well and proved/disproved each one. I included in every hypothesis an easy to read and understand graph of the results we obtained from our questionnaire. I have also added other graphs to make it even clearer. The maps I used were all described, explained and annotated where appropriate. Things I have done well include the aerial photograph of Fairway. I have spent a lot of time perfecting this part of my coursework labelling all of the shops and discussing a few of them further. The pictures I have found of Video world I am also happy with I have found 2 pictures of then and now. I have talked about the changes this shop has made to encourage more customers. One of these changes was its aesthetic appearance, the shop now looks more modern and people like this.

Weaknesses

The weaknesses of my coursework were my 5 hypotheses. At first, some of my graphs were hard to read and understand but after improving them and changing some to more suitable graphs they were changed to be a lot easier to understand and read. A problem I have realised with our results we got from our Questionnaires were that to produce a more accurate analysis of the whole project you would need to carry out the survey every day for 7 days at both the Bridgend designer outlet and Fairway. The weather also affects the number of customers shopping; more people go shopping in fine weather, and tend to stay at home if it’s raining. This would make our results more reliable to work with.

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