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Discover how various aspects of shopping centres change according to the level of the centre on the shopping hierarchy.

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1. Introduction 1.1 Aim The aim of my investigation is to discover how various aspects of shopping centres change according to the level of the centre on the shopping hierarchy. 1.2 Geographical Background The shopping hierarchy is a classification used to differentiate between shopping centres of varying sizes. Figure A shows a shopping hierarchy. The higher a shopping centre's position in the hierarchy pyramid, the greater the total number of shops, the greater the range, more variety of shops/services and the greater the sphere of influence of the centre. In a geographical context, the term range refers to the distance people are prepared to travel to use a shop or service, as an example, a fish and chip shop would have a small range whereas a department store would have a relatively larger range. Range is closely related to the term threshold population. This means the minimum number of customers required to keep a service in business. The sphere of influence of a centre is the surrounding area served by that specific centre, i.e. ...read more.


Prediction: From my own experience I would expect a positive correlation between the size of a shopping centre and the number of shops/service outlets it contains. I predict that the higher you progress up the hierarchy, the greater the number of shops there will be because the larger the centre is, by definition, there should be more shops to provide from more customers. Question 2: How does the relationship between comparison and convenience shops vary at different levels of the shopping hierarchy? Prediction: It is common to find small convenience shops such as newsagents, greengrocers or drycleaners in a small centre but not a departments store or large electrical retailer. Conversely, there are often few convenience outlets in major centres which are predominantly occupied by comparison stores. Comparison shops sell goods and services with higher profit margins than convenience shops so can therefore afford the higher running costs such as rent that occur in operating a large centre that has to provide more customer services. The threshold populations for a conveience store in a large centre would be much higher than in a small centre. ...read more.


More customers mean a requieement for more transport, both public and private. To cope with this, I would expect to a higher provision of public transport in a large centre together with more vehicle routes and parking for private vehicles. The denser customer population will cause greater pedestrian congestion through larger centres and I anticipate finding more provision of pedestrian precincts. 1.4 Selection of Centres I look to examine these questions in three centres at differing levels of the shopping hierarchy in Greater London. Bromley: the largest centre, situated southeast of London, in the affluent commuter belt of northern Kent. This centre was chosen for me by the Geography department at my school as they wished to take the entire class to the centre in order to teach us the methods of data collection to develop practical knowledge of the project and to work as a team due to the large amount of data that needs to be collected. Fig B Fig C Park Hall: the smallest centre is in Dulwich, south East London. Fig D ...read more.

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