The town centre consumer:exploring the holistic town centre journey


To date, current customer experience literature focuses on interaction encounters in a store environment, with limited attention on the wider retail environment. Unlike a retail store, a town centre includes a composite of retail environments, with which a customer interacts during the town centre visit. This paper explores customers’ cognitive and evaluative experiences that emerge from customer’s engagement during the town centre journey. Three complementary methodological approaches - focus groups, online diaries and critical incidents - were adopted to capture the customer’s holistic journey in a town centre. A total of 180 respondents participated in a consumer ‘tracking study’ with 445 diary entries and a total of 1869 shopping trips recorded. By exploring customers’ journeys in town centres, a more complete understanding is achieved for the holistic journey ‘process’ in the complex retail environment of a town centre. Empirical findings illustrate that the customers’ town centre journeys adopt to a large extent a sequential process, illustrating the inherent decision making involved prior to, during and after completing the journey. Furthermore, the findings identify the factors that affect each stage of the process ranging from the initial planning through to the operationalization of the act.

Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Additional Information: The EAERCD 2015 conference proceedings were published on a flash drive, with the following ISBN: 978-2-7466-8451-5
Event Title: 18th Conference of the European Association for Education and Research in Commercial Distribution
Event Type: Other
Event Location: University of Rennes 1
Event Dates: 2015-07-01 - 2015-07-03
Uncontrolled Keywords: customer experience ,town centre journey,retail environment
PURE Output Type: Paper
Published Date: 2015-07-03
Authors: Hart, Cathy
Haji, Iftakar
Rafiq, Mohammed
Laing, Angus



Version: Accepted Version

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