The aim of my coursework is based on investigating the shopping hierarchy and the C.B.D. (Central Business District) of the Royal Borough of Kingston with the aid of several hypotheses.

Authors Avatar
GCSE Geography Coursework

Investigating the shopping hierarchy of Kingston Town Centre



Introduction 3

- My hypotheses 5

- Background 7

Methodology 8

-Secondary information 9

-Primary information 11

-Pedestrian counts 14

-Shops in each street 14

-Problems & Difficulties 15

Data presentation & Interpretation 16

-Figure 1 16

-Figure 2 17

-Figure 3 18

-Figure 4 20

-Figure 5 21

-Figure 6 22

-Figure 7 23

-Figure 8 23

-Figure 9 25

-Figure 10 27

-My Photographs 28

Evaluation 31

Bibliography 32


The aim of my coursework is based on investigating the shopping hierarchy and the C.B.D. (Central Business District) of the Royal Borough of Kingston with the aid of several hypotheses. I chose to base my coursework on the Royal Borough of Kingston, mainly focusing on the Kingston town centre, as it is a familiar area that I visit frequently for shopping purposes. The Royal Borough of Kingston covers an area of 3,748 Ha with a population of 147,273 residents. Situated nearby the River Thames and just 12 miles South West of the centre of London, Kingston is well known as the most desirable shopping area for South West London and Surrey as well as being the 17th largest retail centre in the UK.

Map of the location of the Royal Borough of Kingston in relation to London.


Surrounding areas of Kingston

This shows the location of Kingston and its surrounding towns, many of which may be influenced by the sphere of influence of Kingston.


On the next page is a detailed map of the Kingston town centre.

From a Visitor Guide book of Kingston

My Hypotheses

I have devised seven hypotheses in total to test in this geographical investigation. They are:-

. The central part of the Kingston town centre is the C.B.D of the Royal Borough of Kingston.

I have chosen this as the major hypothesis which I will try to prove with numerous data and information that I am able to get. From the number and quality of shops and services of the town centre and the outskirts of Kingston, and also the comparison of pedestrian counts, I will be able to make a clear comparison of the two areas.

2. Pedestrian count will be higher in the C.B.D and will decrease as you move away from it.

The pedestrian counts take a significant part in the fieldwork, as I do the counts in every street of Kingston in and around the town centre. This will show a clear pattern of how pedestrian counts differ in the area.

3. Pedestrian count will be extremely high in areas of higher shopping quality.

From the results of the data collection, I will be using the pedestrian counts and the list of shops in each street to support this hypothesis. A simple comparison of the information will show the relationship between them.

4. Public transport is concentrated in and around the C.B.D

From 'Kingston Bus Map', you can see the complex arrangement of numerous bus lanes all going into Kingston at one end. Moreover, the results of the questionnaire show that a lot of shoppers in Kingston use public transport, such as the bus and the train.

5. Parking restrictions influence the shopping patterns, especially in the C.B.D.

From the 'Town Centre Parking Map', you can see the restricted number of parking spaces, in comparison to the number of shoppers that visit Kingston during the day. Therefore, it is possible that shopper distribution may be more concentrated around large malls or stores with its own car parks.

6. Location of the chain store influences the number of shoppers that enter each store.

This will be supported by the results of the experimental fieldwork in my data collection. This will be done by counting the number of shoppers that enter a shop in two minutes. In addition, I will do so for a particular shop that has a chain store within the town centre of Kingston. Therefore, I will be able to work out if there really is a difference and the reason for it.

7. Kingston's sphere of influences affects its surrounding towns.

Within the Royal Borough of Kingston, there are many towns such as Kingston, New Malden, Tolworth and so on. During my data collection, I will search for any evidence of Kingston influencing other towns by its popular shopping areas.

Background information

In the past, Kingston was known as the coronation place for Anglo Saxon Kings. Nowadays, around the town centre are over 500 shops packed and crowded to attract 19 million day time shoppers per year and 3.9 million evening visitors per year. (All figures above from 2001 Census, Wikipedia) Kingston is one of the only long-established market towns and has successfully preserved its own special and intriguing feel and impression of a market town. Most of the market squares are surrounded by lines of side streets, filled with a mix of antique and modern shops and stores. The busiest shopping area is the central area of the town centre. There are several large department stores and centres with contemporary retail outlets, colourful and pretty cafes, restaurants and bars. Moreover, the riverside has been developed and re-designed to become an atmospheric area of theatres, performances, exhibitions, restaurants and excellent accommodation.(also residential) Overall, this results in attracting 300,000 visitors to come to the town each week, also making Kingston Town Centre a popular area for shopping and entertainment.

This photograph shows a side of Thames, on the outskirts of Kingston town centre. These areas were decorated like a little village during the development and there are numerous accommodations for visitors to stay.

This photograph shows a cafe also on a side of the Thames on the outskirts of Kingston town centre. These are also an attraction for visitors, who enjoy the view of the riverside.

This is a view of the Wood Street at night. There is a large building with cinema, numerous restaurants, bars and leisure activities such as bowling and casinos. This building especially attracts people in the early evenings and is always very crowded. and


I had started the preparations for my coursework several weeks before the data collection; therefore I had plenty of time and opportunity to research for various things and different aspects of the Royal Borough of Kingston. My data collection was done between the 6th and 12th of August, 2007. I collected the data between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. in order to research in the hours when most pedestrians and shoppers are in Kingston. Most of the shops and stores usually open at around 10.30 a.m. and close around 4.30 p.m., therefore it would be a suitable time. Moreover, I aimed to do the data collection during the weekdays as well as the weekends in order to be less biased and also see the difference between the two. I did not have to avoid weekdays, for students and workers who are not usually shopping during the day, as the data collection was done during a common holiday for everyone.

As I focused my data collection in the Town Centre of the Royal Borough of Kingston, I began from the central C.B.D., gradually moving towards the outskirts of the larger town centre. Various methods used for my data collection were:-

- Collection of secondary data from the internet.

- Collection of secondary data from information centres and the council.

- Questionnaire for pedestrians.

- Photographs

- Field sketches

- Pedestrian counts in each street.

- Gathering list of shops in each street.

- Classifying each shop in three general classes (High, Middle, Low).
Join now!

- Choose some shops and count no. of shoppers that enter it for close comparison.

- Consider shopper distribution, using pedestrian counts of each street.

- Consider the C.B.D of the Royal Borough of Kingston, with the support of facts such as no. of shops and services in each street.

Secondary data collection

During my Data Collection for this investigation, I have used the advantage of both primary and secondary data. Before I began my fieldwork in Kingston, I researched the subject 'The Royal Borough of Kingston' on the internet and collected information and ...

This is a preview of the whole essay