… and making them more attractive for customers when they shop there.

Urban shopping venues – also called retail agglomerations – include, for example high streets, and inner-city store clusters. They are an important feature of what an urban place has to offer, and thus contribute to the overall attractiveness of a town or a city.

Illustration of shoppers on a high streetSuch agglomerations have become under pressure from out-of-town retail centres, such as shopping malls or retail parks, as well as online retailing.

Research by Professor Christoph Teller (University of Surrey, England) and Professor Jonathan Elms (Massey University, New Zealand) in the Journal of Marketing Management looks into what makes urban shopping venues attractive for a very specific “place user group” – the actual shopper.

By surveying more than 500 actual customers at the time they visited a particular town centre for the purposes of shopping, we identify those features and attributes that make this particular place attractive for them.

Our results show that that the retail tenant mix, the merchandise value, and the atmosphere had a direct impact, and the product range and the sales personnel an indirect impact upon the evaluation of attractiveness.

Furthermore, a number of additional effects towards these antecedents were identified with respect to parking conditions, the non-retail tenant mix, manoeuvrability, and orientation.

Our theoretical discussion and empirical findings reveal:

  • the crucial role of retailing for urban place attractiveness
  • the supportive and guiding role of place marketing for urban retailing
  • the lower importance of structural disadvantages of urban shopping venues compared to e.g. shopping malls.

The practical implication of these findings suggests that place marketing activities should be proactive in supporting and enabling retailers in fulfilling their roles.

More research related to the topic of urban place marketing and management can be found on the authors’ own websites (see links below) and of course in the Journal of Marketing Management.

Read the original research article online (Free Access until 30 November 2016): Teller, C. & Elms, J.R. (2012). Urban place marketing and retail agglomeration customers. Journal of Marketing Management, 28(5-6), 546-567. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2010.517710

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Christoph Teller

Christoph Teller

Professor Christoph Teller is Chair in Retailing and Marketing at University of Surrey, UK. His current research foci are the antecedents of supply chain management execution, boundary-spanning activities of store managers, co-opetition in service delivery networks and determinants of food waste occurrence on the distribution stage in the food supply chain.

Jonathan Elms

Jonathan Elms

Professor Jonathan Elms is the Sir Stephen Tindall Chair in Retail Management at Massey University, New Zealand. His research interests broadly encompass the interrelated themes of ‘Retail Change, Power and Competition’ and ‘Consumer Behaviour and Choice in a Retail Context’.

Disclaimer: Any views expressed in this posting are the views of the Author(s), and are not necessarily the views of the JMM Editors, Westburn Publishers Ltd. or Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.