Nowadays, one can observe significant, and, more importantly, constant shifts in numerous areas of consumer behaviour, especially those related to purchase processes and buyers’ attitudes toward shopping. With the grow of societies’ wealth and development levels, shopping becomes more a part of a lifestyle and a way of spending time, than a means of satisfying vital, elementary needs. Such situation resulted in tangible change in the role and the strategy of retail places and malls, and directly leaded to the concepts like leisure shopping.
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the possible reasons for visiting shopping centres and malls as well as selected attitudes towards shopping. Such analysis made it possible to assess the significance and relevance of different objectives of the visit as well as to evaluate the existence and the size of the continuum between two approaches towards shopping, defined as: (a) strictly pragmatic, and (b) leisure and social experience.
The study was conducted on the quota sample of 1375 polish consumers, who had visited a shopping centre in the recent months.
The obtained results clearly show that, contrary to common belief, one cannot assume the existence of the consumers’ inclination towards one of abovementioned approaches, although some correlation with age and gender has been observed. Moreover, the adaptation of clustering methods (expectation-maximisation algorithm) made it possible to prove the existence of different, yet internally coherent groups of consumers, displaying different combinations of the perceived significance of evaluated reasons and objectives of the visit.
This study is one of very few studies which have investigated detailed reasons and objectives of visiting shopping centers. Moreover, it presents the differences in the structure of aforementioned objectives in different types of consumers.
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