City Road in Cardiff: Geared for Pedestrian Shoppers

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City Road in Cardiff is a busy consumer-driven street dominated by restaurants, takeaways and shops selling a variety of items from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds. In this essay I will be looking at how these retailers favour some groups of consumers they cater for, the younger female population for instance and exclude other members of the population, along with how the infrastructure on the road and pavements makes life easier for some groups of people and potentially hinders others. One group of people City Road appears to cater more for is the younger student generation that prefer to go out in the evenings to socialise and this is demonstrated in the replacement of the car trade previously seen on the street with numerous restaurants and takeaways that open much later. Lloyd Robson describes the area as a ‘Magnet for young people’ (Making Social Lives DVD, scene 8) The older generation prefer to gather during the day in the Taste Buds café over a cup of coffee to maintain their traditional sense of community, but won’t visit the street at night when it becomes awash with students. This has contributed to the older generation feeling disconnected as, in the most part, they don’t want to visit a lively and loud bar or takeaway of which there are plenty and Bob Keohane confirms this when he states that ‘every other shop is a takeaway’ (Making Social Lives DVD, scene 6). The members of the Municipal Club, predominantly older men, tell of how they feel unsafe with more younger people on the street at night, despite numerous CCTV cameras, and how the club is unlikely to survive with the cycle of more students coming to the area, so more contemporary bars are opening to keep them coming, the less the older generation want to frequent the street in the evenings. The retailers on City Road seemed to be aimed at the female half of the population more than the male shopper if we look at the type of shop on the street. Janet Symmons in her shop...
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