In the United Kingdom, the hypermarkets’ and shopping malls’ growth and their subsequent relocation out of town centers has been a controversy. The movement by these businesses out of the streets of the town has led to heated debates this week, pertaining to the impact it will have on traditional local retailers. This paper aims at elaborating on the pros and the cons of this move and analyzing how this will actually impact businesses in the UK.
Undeniably, town hypermarkets and shopping malls avail a considerably more convenient shopping experience since it is much easier for the shoppers to make visits to these out-of-down facilities as compared to when the same is in the town center. Ordinarily, these retails are accessed with ease since the roads to and from are hardly characterized with traffic jams, and besides, the parking space is ample (Kollewe 2012, p.1). It is as well comfortable for shoppers to make their bargains in one place as it saves their time. Owing to the fact that these retail centers are rather actively managed, the security of the customers is assured and cleanliness is observed. Due to the availability of space, entertainment services such as cinemas, skating rinks, and live music are offered that enhances business. On the flip side, these out-of-town malls are not designed to serve the interests of all shoppers. The shoppers may be forced to spent time visiting these retails since they are located in a distance from the population centers. The same can also lead to marginalization especially to those who do not own cars (Kollewe 2012, p.1).
As a result of the huge bying power as well as the enjoyment of economies of scale, these malls and hypermarkets are in a position to offer their products at relatively cheap prices as contrasted to their high-street competitors (KPMG 2011, p.2). The greater enjoyment and convenience availed to consumers motivates business activities and pushes urban-based shopping centers to also put efforts to satisfactorily meet the needs of the customers. Conversely, moving retail developments away from the town leads to reductions in effective competition since the relatively small urban outlets are not in a position to be price competitive. Moreover, the few retailers in the urban areas might be unable to meet the demand of the urban population leading to decline in business undertakings (Kollewe 2012, p.1).
Out-of-town retail development can be viewed as an efficient and sensible use of land since in order to be able effectively to run modern shop, a relatively big space is required for planning for the retail units. However, such a development is likely to eliminate the buying opportunities from small shops. It also interferes with community spirit in the sense that these nationally-managed shopping malls do not always promote a net money outflow from the community (KPMG 2011, p.4). Additionally, it lowers the involvement of the locals in town center and, consequently, it may avail a negative impact on municipality participation and civic pride. This ends up removing the sense of diversity. Out-of-town shopping centers also tend to be insensitive to the needs of the local shoppers since they are run on a national basis. Their main focus is on homogeneous goods and services offered across the regions. These trading centers additionally negatively impact the environment via the clearing of large tracts of land for their construction. Moreover, they heighten the levels of pollution since shoppers have to commute to access their services (KPMG 2011, p.6).
Following the above discussion on the impacts of out-of-town shopping malls and hypermarkets in the United Kingdom, stakeholders have to come to the drawing board and try to formulate a central conclusion as to how this issue has to be dealt with for the benefit of all.