Strip Malls: Causes of Failure and Success

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DNSI 375 DESIGN THEORY AND RESEARCH
Introduction and Literature Review
You have a great start on the literature review. I would spend a little bit more time on the introduction and conclusion. The introduction should be more persuasive and can be referenced (see my comments below). 17/20

Strip Malls: Causes of Failure and Success

Introduction
With the economic downturn, businesses are suffering greatly and closing rapidly; because of this it is important to figure out ways to reduce these closings and help companies prosper. One business type that has seen drastic closings is the strip mall. While research suggests that location, façade design, greenery, anchor stores, store offerings and other attractions pull in much more foot traffic than malls who are missing these features (source), strip mall abandonment is still a huge problem in the United States. We have to wonder why so much new strip mall construction is occurring without the implementation of these features, or if they are why are they still failing? The purpose of this research study is to determine how façade design, location, and store offerings in strip malls affect customer shopping behaviors. This study is important to determine how society as a whole can become more sustainable by keeping new construction down and reviving failed strip malls and making them a success.

Literature Review

Location and Attraction to Strip Malls

**(Anchor store information can be added here as an attraction)

When it comes to strip malls, location is a key factor in determining where someone chooses to shop, and often distance alone is not enough to determine the success of a strip mall. Though location plays a key role in terms of proximity to its customers, e.g., nearness to main roads, travel time, and population congestion, customer psychology plays a key role in determining whether the trip is “worth it” (Rajagpal, 2009). The distance a customer is willing to travel is determined by several factors of the shopping experience: customer loyalty, ergonomics, expected/post-buying satisfaction, and multichannel retail strategies (Rajagpal 2009). Customer loyalty is built primarily through a store’s overall business model, and is expressed in strip malls by those individual stores upholding those values. If a customer finds the goods and services provided to be what they expected, they will continue to shop at that store with distance and location being a minimal factor. The ergonomics of a store refers to one’s ability to move around; a store with pleasing ergonomics will enhance the customer’s experience and encourage them to return. Expected/post-buying satisfaction refers to the discrepancies between a person’s perceived experience when shopping before they go into the store and the actual experience as they leave. Expected satisfaction can be a strong motivator for someone to visit a certain strip: if they’ve heard the way their friends ranted and raved about the experience, they will be more likely to visit, but if their post-buying satisfaction is not what is expected, they may not return. A multichannel retail strategy is the way that a store, or strip mall, chooses to route a customer to make the most of their spending habits. In individual stores this may mean strategically placing “impulse buys” along a customer’s path of travel (Rajagpal 2009). When applied to the strip, it refers to the way the architect has chosen to route the shopper through the center. Of the four factors listed, this is easily the biggest design factor determining the distance customers are willing to travel because it affects the overall experience that the customer will have. For example, a strip in a square or “L” shape encourages people to walk along the length of the strip, backtracking to stores they saw before, where a simple line offers fewer options and ends abruptly. Customers are naturally attracted to strips that they have easy access to, but their...
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