Out-of-town shopping

In order to sell goods, shops need to be located where people can get to them easily. They need a large sphere of influence that guarantees a steady flow of customers and increasing profit. Building large shopping centres near good transport routes and motorway junctions can help. Shoppers frequently come in cars and out-of-town shopping centres or retail parks can offer large, free car parks, eg Cribbs Causeway near Bristol, Bluewater in Kent and the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

Key features of an out of town shopping centre

Advantages of out-of-town shopping centres

  • More accessible than city centres, which are often congested.
  • Large, free car parks.
  • Larger stores - meaning there is a good range of products benefiting from economies of scale.
  • Indoor shopping malls - so not affected by the weather.
  • Purpose-built shopping and leisure experience with cafes, bowling alleys and cinemas.

Disadvantages of out-of-town shopping centres

  • Create more traffic, especially at weekends and bank holidays.
  • City centres lose trade because people go to the out-of-town shopping centres.
  • Harder for smaller shops and independent stores to be successful.
  • May not be as accessible to some members of the community, eg the elderly.