Business / Retail Industry

Retail Industry

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Autor:  anton  30 June 2011
Tags:  Retail,  Industry
Words: 924   |   Pages: 4
Views: 406




Historically, the high street has been the obvious place for the consumer to shop however in more recent times out-of-town shopping centres and the internet are becoming increasingly popular. Why?


The main aims of my research are to find out what factors are contributing to the increase of consumer spending on the internet and in out of town shopping centres. I will also be looking at both the advantages and disadvantages of high street shopping, out-of-town shopping and internet shopping. This information should be able to show us why consumers in recent times choose to shop where they do and the main reasons for this. The information will be relevant to the UK Retail Industry as a whole.


The question above is of interest and relevance because in modern times there has been a clear change in where people shop and this affects everyone. It is of interest as to where and why people shop in the places available. What are consumer’s main concerns? Price? Accessibility? Convenience?

Recent Articles posted on on the Retail Industry write of recent increases in High Street shopping over the Christmas period and of success in Boxing Day and January sales. However, recent articles in the Financial Times have stated how there is likely to be an increase in interest rates for early 2008. This will result in consumers reducing their spending on luxuries and will be more likely to save there money. This in turn will affect the Retail Industry as a whole as consumer spending will decrease.

In an academic context my research will be, ��an organised, systematic and logical process of inquiry, using empirical information to answer questions.’’ Punch, Developing Effective Research Proposals, 2005.

In order to find the answers to my questions I will have to do a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data collection. This is so I can be as precise as possible in my findings. I would like to be deliberate and methodical in the development of my methods. I believe this the most practical and realistic way of completing my research.

The rationale of the proposal is to find all the factors that are changing the retail industry. High Street shops now have to compete with out-of-town shopping centres and the internet. What are the high street shops doing to stay profitable? Does the increase in competition change their marketing strategies?

The novelty of my proposal is that technology is changing and adapting all the time therefore new ways of retailing are being used all the time so new, up-to-date data is crucial in keeping hold of this ever changing industry. External factors affect consumers and the shops in different ways resulting in changes in costs, turnover, consumer spending, marketing strategies and many more.

I am aware that research has been done before in this area however as stated above up-to-date data is needed as the industry’s success fluctuates from year to year.

Proposed Methodology and Methods

Primary Research

In order to find accurate, qualitative, primary data I propose to conduct a survey in Newcastle Upon Tyne retail catchment areas. I would start off on the high street and then out-of-town shopping centres such as the Metro Centre with the aim to find out questions such as;

a) Do you prefer shopping on the high street, out of town shopping centres or on the internet?

b) Why?

c) Do you like to window shop?

d) Why?

e) When shopping are your main concerns price, convenience, accessibility or other reasons?

f) Why?

The aim of this kind of research is to try and get the truth from the actual consumer. This is the most accurate form of research as it is first hand information. It is also practical for me as a researcher because the areas where the consumers will be are very accessible therefore easy for me to collect data.

I would also try and find some quantitative data. My questions would include;

a) How much do you spend on average when you shop per week on the high street, out-of-town shopping centres and the internet?

b) How long has it taken you to get to the shops? Distance? Time?

c) What type of goods do you tend to buy when shopping?

The strengths of this kind of data collection are that it is factual and can be used in graphs and tables. The graphs can show trends, correlations and anomalies very clearly in an illustrated format. As this kind of data is predominantly numerical it means that accurate averages can be calculated. This gives an overall consensus on the sampled population.

Secondary Research

I would also collect Secondary Data from all over the UK from surveys and databases such as Mintel. With this data I will compare my Primary data and also other Secondary data. This is likely to show patterns in the change in consumer spending, change in where consumers spend and change in what consumers are spending their money on.

There are many websites that provide recent data in the retail industry. They show recent brand success and sales information. Examples include;

I expect to find that there will be an increase in Internet shopping due to the fact that a large percentage of the population are becoming more and more computer literate and understand how to shop online. Many Online businesses also offer discounts to the consumer when buying online which acts as an incentive for the internet consumer.

I also expect to find an increase in out-of-town shopping due to ever improving accessibility through cars and more efficient road networks.


Punch, K.F. (2006) Developing Effective Research Proposals. London-Sage

Mintel Database - High Street vs Out-of-town Retailing - UK - June 2006

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