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Born to shop or bored of shopping?


Posted At: 14 May 2008 10:32 AM
Related Categories: Retail, Town & Shopping Centre Management


How much longer will people travel to shopping centres when:

a)         one shopping centre is interchangeable with the next

b)         we can buy everything we need on the net

c)         fuel costs a fortune?


Why indeed do we shop?  With leisure time at a premium, why do we drive long distances to join hordes of others milling around a shopping centre, to buy something we don’t need, to replace the previous thing we didn’t need, which will now go to landfill, along with the plastic bag in which we carried home the new version?


There is no denying that most people get an adrenaline surge from spending money and treating themselves to something new, but do we need to spend so much time doing it?


The relationship between a loyal customer and a favourite clothes shop is intimate. After all, your clothes are your next of skin.  Maybe as in all intimate relationships what we crave is a degree of familiarity to make us comfortable and relaxed –fruit and veg at the front of the supermarket and menswear tucked away upstairs – with a degree of surprise to excite and delight us.  Familiarity alone breeds contempt as M&S discovered before Sir Stuart introduced the unfamiliar in the shape of Per Una and Limited Editions.


So by the same token, shopping centres also need to be simultaneously familiar and intriguing.  Then we will feel both at home and a twist of excitement. 


If a shopping centre doesn’t provide an experience we want to repeat, it will end up living only with those hardened credit bashers who are seriously born to shop.  The rest of us, bored by its familiarity will seek our thrills elsewhere or satisfy our needs more efficiently online.

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.


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