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What effects people’s shopping habits in my local area?

What affects shopping patterns in my local area of Denton?

Introduction

I have decided to look in-depth into the affects of shopping patterns in my local area.

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To simplify the task, I have decided to split up the coursework into four easy to handle objectives;

  • How the types of shops and services available affects the shopping patterns of people,
  • How the hierarchy of settlements affects shopping patterns,
  • Where people come from to shop in my study area and what affects their decision,
  • How has the opening of new developments, and proposed developments, affected people’s shopping habits in the local area?

The area to which I am local is Denton and therefore I will be looking closer into the land use and types of shops in Denton.

Denton is small to a large town in the EES of Manchester, and Manchester is a major city in the North West of England.

Please see the enclosed maps, figs 1 through 4, to gain a clearer image of where Denton is. All maps courtesy of Microsoft Autoroute(r). All rights reserved.

Objective one: How do the types of shops and services available affect shopping patterns?

I obtained the results of the types of shops in Denton by going into the centre of Denton with a blank map and recording where each shop is situated. I then transposed these results onto a new base map. As you can see it would of scanned better if my teacher hadn’t written all over it. This is a recurring theme throughout my coursework.

I then put the results of my investigation into a pie graph to aid the ease of reading;

As there is a high percentage of food shops in Denton, I can presume that most Dentonians do their food shopping internally; otherwise, the businesses just wouldn’t be there.

Services are also a high percentage of the total number of shops, so I can deduce that local people prefer to remain local for the service sector.

On the other hand, I can see that Entertainment, Personal needs and High order goods shops have a relatively small influence in Denton. From this I would imagine that most people are happy to travel, possibly into the centre of Manchester for such goods and services.

Also from my results, there is a clear majority of specialist shops, which would imply that there are a dedicated clientele actually travelling into Denton for these goods from neighbouring towns, as it would be easier for them to come here than travel into Manchester at peak times. I can tell that there is regular custom for the specialist shops, because by nature, the specialist shops only stock one or two types of items, and therefore rely on the same customers returning each week to keep in profit. Please see the photos at the end of this study, for an illustration of each shop type.

Objective two: How does the hierarchy of shopping affect shopping patterns?

The hierarchy of settlements;

This is the theory of hierarchical settlements. I am going to use this model to see where in the ranking Denton is placed. To go about this I have decided to take a survey of the local shop types.

Tally

Type of shop

Bank

4

S

Bicycles

1

S

Books

1

SS

Building Society

1

C

Caf�/Pub

5

C

Car repairs

1

S

Charity

2

SS

Clothes

4

SS

D.I.Y.

1

C

Estate Agent

1

S

Florist

1

SS

Funerals

1

S

Furniture

1

SS

Hair

1

S

Jewellery

1

SS

Newsagent

2

C

Off-licence

2

C

Optician

2

S

Pets

1

S

Photographs

1

SS

Post-office

1

C

Radio/T.V.

1

SS

Shoes

3

SS

Sports/Hobbies

2

SS

Supermarket

1

C

Travel Agent

2

SS

From the results, I can see that there is roughly the same number of each type of shop, but the actual number of shops tells me that Denton fits into the Shopping Hierarchy theory at the small-town stage.

Other evidence to support this is from a secondary source. A recent census of Denton was made showing that there are circa twenty-thousand inhabitants currently living within Denton, proving that Denton would fit into the higher band of the small town phase of the hierarchy theory.

However, a discrepancy with the theory does exist. Denton’s town centre is within 5-10km of neighbouring small town centres, such as Audenshaw, see initial map on page one. According to the theory, this would fit Denton into the ‘Village’ category, but with the large number of people living in Denton, the evidence just wouldn’t support this theory.

I do believe that Denton will progress into the Large town class as the Crown Point North Development is finished. I think this because of the projected influx of new businesses and outside the capital, which has already begun to come in, for example, the new Morrisons Supermarket.

This new development and new business will demand a sizeable workforce, coupled with Denton becoming a more attractive area to live in, which will inevitably increase the number of people living and moving into Denton. Data from www.Tameside.gov.uk has projected that the population could double by 2008.

Objective 3: Where do people come from to shop in Denton and what affects their Decision?

From common sense, I can deduce that ‘normal’ (i.e. non-weird) people do not travel immense distances for low-order goods. This means that only people from Denton and perhaps from the immediate areas will travel into Crown Point on a week-day for low order goods.

However, on a weekend people have more time and are more willing to travel greater distances. The questionnaire I have drawn up should show where people have come from during the week and on a weekend. It also showed their age, mode of transport, the frequency of shopping in Denton and comment on Denton’s shopping facilities as a whole. I took a sample of twenty people on a Thursday and twenty people on a Saturday, to illustrate the difference on shopping patterns. See figures 8 to 19 for the collated results;

Please see Fig. 20 for my map’o’graph which also includes the sphere of influence around Denton.

To conclude, the results have proved my theory. In the two graphs of where the people are from, it is pretty obvious that on a Thursday the shoppers are almost exclusively from Denton, whereas there is only a marginal increase of people from further-a-field, such as Ashton, on a Saturday.

In the two Age graphs, the predominant people are the teenagers on a Thursday but on a Saturday the balance of power shifts to the older end of the spectrum.

To mirror the balance of power in the age graphs, the main mode of transport for the teenager is the bus on a Thursday, while, conversely, the primary form of transport for middle-aged people is the car.

On the frequency of visit graphs, the same happens. On Thursday, the teenagers say they shop mostly daily in Denton, but the middle-aged people on Saturday tend to shop much less often in Crown Point. This further proves my theory.

The ratings of Denton on a Thursday and Saturday are also telling of who visits. On a Thursday it is mainly local children, who are perhaps bored with their surroundings, while the people who travel into Denton on a Saturday feel it is worth coming, and so rate Denton higher, than that of their younger counterparts.

Objective four: How has the opening of new developments and proposed future developments affected people’s shopping habits in Denton?

The opening of new developments, in particular the Trafford centre (see fig. 21 for a plan view of the Trafford centre), has drastically changed the way in which we shop, but to what extent?

To find out how these new developments have changed the way people shop I devised a second questionnaire to gain the retort of the public. Please see fig. 22 for a copy of a questionnaire.

A questionnaire to show people’s shopping habits in my local area and how recent shopping developments have changed these habits.

What town do you live in?

………………………

How often do you shop in Denton?

More than once a week once a week less than once a week

How do you travel into Denton?

Car Bus Train Walk Other

On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, how would you rate Denton’s shopping facilities?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Do you prefer shopping at Denton or in an out-of-town shopping centre?

Why?

Since the building of the Trafford centre, do you shop in Denton…?

More Less about the Same

Will you shop at the new Crown Point North development?

Yes No

How do you think it will affect Denton’s town centre (Crown Point)?

From first-hand research, I have found that the extra capital and investment will boost Denton’s somewhat lagging economy. This will pay for better local transport links and generally better local infrastructure.

There are foreseen problems with the development dubbed the ‘mini Trafford centre’. There has been an estimated increase of traffic in and around Denton of 30%, meaning greater congestion and pollution. Various countermeasures have already been employed, for instance, motorway slip road widening and major access roads being widened and resurfaced. Also smaller streets have been fitted with an assortment of traffic calming techniques.

Overall Conclusion

From objective one’s conclusion, and fig. 6, I can see that Denton is a service sector town, also with a higher than average proportion of specialist shops. Objective two goes further by naming each shop and concluding that Denton fits into the small town section of the shopping hierarchy theory, saying that it services neighbouring towns, rather than being serviced by other smaller towns. Again objective one shows that the main reason people come here is for the specialist shops, otherwise they would run out of business, as there is not enough people in Denton to sustain the number of specialized shops.

Objective three’s survey further cements these conjectures, as there is a decent percentage of people from other towns travelling into Denton. Yet again the objective preceding the last goes that one step further, and so objective three gives identities to the people who shop in Denton.

Objective four is the next step up, the questionnaire sets out to solve the core mystery of what affects people’s shopping habits in the first place. From fig. 22 I find that the people who dislike Denton’s shopping facilities are more likely to be going to the Manchester city centre’s Arndale centre or large out-of-town shopping centres, such as the Trafford centre. They also registered the greatest interest in the new Crown Point development.

Evaluation

As with any coursework, parts can be improved. This work is no exception, and it doesn’t come without its faults.

In objective one I could have widened my survey of the local shops to not just include a map of Crown Point but of the surrounding areas. This intern would have improved the accuracy and reliability of objective two’s results, giving a much clearer image of Denton as a whole.

As for objective three, if I had asked a more detailed questionnaire on every day of the week, and then on a bank holiday and other such events I would have gained even more evidence to support my hypothesizes.

However, the results I did collate were more than enough to prove where people come from to shop in Denton and what sort of a person they are. Objective four would certainly benefit from a wider and more stratified sample in the questionnaire. Perhaps if it were more closely linked with objective three, and the questions were more direct and specific, there would have been a greater yield of results to further back up my hypothesizes.

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