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The Impact of Shopping Mall Developments on Consumer Behaviour in Township Areas

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Lebogang Mokgabudi

01 August 2011


Township Studies Librarian Two

Research Report

Township Studies Group

South Africa

The objective of the study was to evaluate the impact of shopping mall developments on consumer behaviour in township areas. Local and international research indicated that shopping mall developments in low-income communities result in several benefits for consumers, such as convenient location; a larger variety of goods offered, lower prices than small retailers in the area and better quality of goods, amongst others. Studies also indicated that the choice of the preferred supermarket/shopping mall is not a rational decision based only on pricing, but on a compromise of satisfying economic, social and psychological needs.

A two-part mixed methodology, which employed both qualitative and quantitative methods, was adopted. This included semi-structured interviews with retail experts and interview-administered questionnaires with the primary retail shopper in the household. The sample population was Alexandra Township in Gauteng, South Africa. Findings revealed that low-income consumers prefer to shop from the closest shopping mall instead of small retailers/Spaza Shops because of the lower prices and a larger variety of goods offered. However, evidence suggested that consumers prefer to shop at a shopping mall that represents their desired lifestyle, therefore shopping mall developments in township areas, do not fulfill the social and aspirational needs of low-income consumers. For this reason, low-income consumers continue to purchase from malls in urban areas.

Abstract based directly on the official source


Website References

Built environment


Human settlements




Shopping Centres

South Africa


Township Studies Group


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