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Factors affectting shopping patterns and behaviour in Bracknell

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Introduction

Introduction I chose to carry out this study because I wanted to see what factors affect shopping patterns and behaviour. I also wanted to see what factors influenced people's choice of shopping, and how far out of their way they would go to follow these factors. I chose the optional question of 'what importance does the quality of the shopping environment have for attracting shoppers', for the reason that the shopping environment is a hugely contributing factor to the reason that shoppers choose a certain area to shop in. examples of these factors would be attractiveness, security, catering, etc . These would all add up to increase the shops overall attractiveness, and therefore increase its sphere of influence. Bracknell is within central Berkshire, in the south- east of Britain. Bracknell is located approximately 50km west of London, and is situated in the M4 corridor. Because of this, it is an important communication link to London. Also, Bracknell is in the 'silicon strip', an area of high computer business and offices. This brings in most of the town's GNP. Bracknell was quite a small town, a quite and local place until 1949 when it became a new town. This now became a planned urban community, designed for self-efficiency, and paved the way for it to become a central business district. Bracknell's population is 110,000, with the neighbourhood principle to thank for that, and is a bustling, thriving town that attracts shoppers from all around. Near to Bracknell, we also have reading and Twyford, which is where I live. Our study sites were situated in the centre of Bracknell, at the Bracknell town centre and the peel centre. The study was carried out at these two sites mainly because they were dissimilar. The peel centre was a large parade with many high order shops in a line, such as MFI and focus. There was also an entertainment centre, which had a cinema, restaurants, bowling, etc, to entertain the crowds brought to shop. ...read more.

Middle

This could be because they lived at home still or worked locally. Fig 31 for Bracknell town centre showed that an even number of people found Bracknell busy as was found quiet, with 2 people saying that they found Bracknell moderately busy. This contradicted the mostly moderately busy/ quiet answer given by people at the peel centre in fig 41. This shows that overall, most people found Bracknell moderately busy. I was told that this fluctuated over the weekends, with it being far busier as it's a non school/work day for most. Fig 51 shows that people thought that Twyford was quiet, as it's a small town of little shopping importance. This answers question 1 of my aims, as Bracknell, the area with the most shops and variety was busier than Twyford. Lastly, comparing fig 32 with fig 42 showed that people thought that the peel centre had better facilities than Bracknell town centre. This could be because of the entertainment facilities, restaurant, comparison goods sold or the 'feel-good' high you get from purchasing something expensive and 'one-off' like a couch, etc. This again seems to contradict my audit that I took, but that may have been because I was biased as stated in my method. As the peel centre has an extensive car parking facility with automatic tickets, gates, a lot of space, etc this could be one of the reasons that the peel centre was favoured over Bracknell town centre, and would therefore answer question 3 (quality of car parking facilities) of my aims. Fig 52 shows a higher score than that of the peel centre or Bracknell town centre. This was most probably to do with village pride, or the fact that it is/ the owners are well known and liked locals. Photos and catchment area: my photos show the different factors that affect the state of sites located within the peel centre, Bracknell town centre and my local area. ...read more.

Conclusion

These results are reliable though, as there were big differences in the counts, so 1 person wouldn't have had a huge impact on accuracy. Environmental audits: my environmental audits are quite reliable, I think, although they seemed to go against what my questionnaire graphs showed in fig 32 and 42, as I said that Bracknell town centre had better facilities, but the public thought that the peel centre had better facilities. This showed that the audits were biased, which could be corrected by my whole group carrying out the audit together. I have to say though that I think these results weren't the most reliable I have. Photos/sketches: my photographs are very reliable, as they are pictures of the actual shopping centres, and then I just pointed out the factors that coincided with my audits. However, I couldn't record everywhere, meaning that the photographs may be biased as they may show better areas. To correct this I could have taken a photograph of the best and worst scoring sites of my audits, and shown why they got such a low mark. Validity of conclusions Questionnaires: overall, I think my conclusions are valid, as they include a random selection of 10 people for each site, good range. These results gave me invaluable information when answering my aims, and could only have been improved only to give a fairer range. Land use maps: overall, I think that this has been very useful in helping me with the variety of shops in the centres. This information was reliable and practical in directly answering one of my, and partially others. I believe that my conclusions here are valid, as well as being an excellent source to help my other conclusions. Pedestrian counts: these were also just as good as the land use maps in helping me to answer my aims, as most concentrated on factors that attracted shoppers, making this ideal to show the differences in shoppers attracted to certain areas. For this, again I think that my conclusions are solid and suitable, definitely valid. Environmental audits: ...read more.

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