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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Shopping centre location analysis : sales volume estimating Currie, David Gordon

Abstract

This thesis is concerned with that part of retail location analysis which involves estimating the sales volume potential for a proposed shopping centre. It examines the practised methods and available models employed in the prediction of potential sales volumes. A survey of the literature dealing with techniques of sales volume estimation revealed that the theory behind sales volume estimating was somewhat disjointed, since the models and methods available emphasized different approaches and factors, and ignored or inadequately accounted for others. Furthermore, it was apparent that predictive accuracy was far from satisfactory with the presently available tools of analysis. It was felt that the problem revolved around the assumptions and factors inherent or absent in each model or method. Since estimating a potential sales volume for a proposed centre involved estimating the number of consumers who will patronize that centre, it becomes obvious that an accurate estimate of expected consumer patronage necessitates an understanding of the factors and influences which motivate consumers in their choice of a particular retail outlet in which to purchase desired merchandise. It was felt that by examining these determinants of consumer behaviour, some light could be shed on those factors which are inadequately recognized or represented in the various methods and models examined in this thesis. This thesis, then, first examines the validity and limitations of the many arguments, assumptions, concepts, and factors considered to be important in a discussion of the determinants of consumer patronage behaviour. It then examines the various models and methods in order to a) determine how adequately they recognize and incorporate these arguments, assumptions, concepts, and factors in their formulae or procedures, and b) evaluate their ability to produce theoretically sound, consistent predictions. The models and methods are found to be largely incapable of accurate and consistent predictions owing to their oversimplified and imprecise construction. Inadequately represented consumer patronage factors are presented which, if they were more explicitly recognized, would tend to improve the predictive capabilities of the models and methods. These factors are shown to be additional factors of attraction and resistance which influence the consumer in his choice of a shopping destination. The main conclusion presented is that if these factors were more precisely defined and quantified, and more explicitly recognized in the formulae, either through restructuring the parameters or through expanding the number of variables in the formulae, the descriptive and predictive capabilities of these models and methods might be improved with a corresponding decrease in the necessity for subjective judgment.

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