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Retailing: why geographical


Mall attractions include a 7 acre waterpark, a national sized hockey league ... Disney Paris. Fantasyland Disney & Epcot. Conclusion ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Retailing: why geographical

Retailing why geographical?
  • Still a spatial activity US 2nd favourite
    leisure activity
  • Defines our urban spaces streets, malls, markets
  • Defines who we are identity through consumption
  • Polarisation
  • Concentration the largest retailers are some of
    the biggest employers in the world
  • New technology epos, fast fashion (Zara)
    internet spectacular failures such as,
    plus Amazon and Ebay

Shopping centres
Retail geography
  • Retail geography, potentially one of the most
    interesting of sub-disciplines…has been made into
    one of the most boring of fields (Nick Blomley)
  • In Britain, the groundwork for the new system of
    post-fordism was laid not in manufacturing but in
    services (Robin Murray)

Retail geography
  • Until the preoccupation with manufacturing and
    the neglect of services in such debates is
    rectified, our understanding of the economic
    landscape of post-fordism will remain incomplete
    and one-sided (Ron Martin 1990)
  • A reconstructed retail geography finds itself at
    the very heart of contemporary debate within
    critical human geography (Nick Blomley 1986)

Retail Geography
  • The potential of retail geography is that
    categories such as economy or culture are
    constantly being shattered. The two seem mutually
    implicated (Blomley).

Shopping centres
  • Were built on a large scale and pioneered by
    Victor Gruen, who aimed to restore the lost
    sense of commitment and belonging we can
    counteract the phenomenon of alienation,
    isolation and loneliness and achieve a sense of
    identity (Gruen 1973)

Retail places
  • The globalisation of retailing is creating the
    ageographical city, a city without place attached
    to it (Sorkin, 1992).
  • The mall is essentially a pseudoplace which works
    through spatial strategies of dissemblance and
    duplicity (John Goss)

Retail architecture spot the difference
Shopping centre capitalism
  • Transforms our public spaces into sanitised,
    privatized serially reproduced brand zones.
  • not only is shopping melting into everything,
    but everything is melting into shopping (Leong
    2001 129)

Mall of America, Minnesota
  • The largest mall in the US. Opened in 1992 and is
    in many ways a small city in its own right. The
    mall covers 78 acres. It has over 400 specialty
    shops, a 14 screen movie theatre, nightclubs,
    bars, 22 restaurants and 23 fast food outlets.
    But that is not all. At the centre of this three
    story complex, beneath an immense hyperspace of
    skylights, mall developers have located a
    seven-acre theme park (Gottdiener 1998)

West Edmonton Mall, Canada
  • WEM contains over 600 stores and services. It
    employs 18,000 people, contains almost 23 of
    Edmontons retail space. Mall attractions include
    a 7 acre waterpark, a national sized hockey
    league skating rink, an 18 hole miniature golf
    course, a 4 acre sea aquarium, four fully
    operational submarines…This mega mall typifies
    Disneyfication and imagineering (Hopkins, 1990)

West Edmonton Mall
Brent Cross, London
  • The Mother of All Malls (The Independent)
  • Britains first purpose built regional shopping
    centre opened in 1976. Rents are as high as
    Londons West End, offering consumers a safe and
    climate-controlled alternative to the perceived
    dangers and unpredictability of city centre

Malls of nowhere
  • Vast, fully enclosed shopping malls. Lots of
    glass, light, stainless steel, chrome and
    granite…Most of the shops are outlets of large
    chains…Large numbers of people traipsing through
    familiar structures, along well-travelled
    corridors…these malls, corridors, consumers and
    shops could be almost anywhere Los Angeles,
    Singapore, Moscow, Rio or Johannesburg (Ritzer)

Markets in meltdown
  • Consumption and entertainment becoming
    increasingly indistinguishable.
  • Commodification as remorseless a process that
    must end in cultural meltdown. So shopping malls
    become the battleships of capitalism, bludgeoning
    consumers into unconsciousness

  • Every 4 days a new Wal-Mart store opens somewhere
    in America. Cohen points to the blandness of our
    contemporary urban spaces shows shots of
    indistinguishable corporate complexes, each
    sporting the same shiny veneers and the same
    angular lines. Its increasingly difficult to
    tell where you are since so many places look the
    same. They are, he argues, becoming invisible.

  • Theme parks,hotels and corporate centres
    worldwide are joined into a monolithic
  • The new monster malls contrive to combine
    retailing with the experiences of carnival,
    festival and tourism all in a single total
    environment. Shopping centres are tourist
    destinations, unreal.

Theme parks
  • Someday perhaps office workers will need not
    even abandon their desks. They will simply watch
    a destination tape and swallow a vacation tablet.
    In the meantime we will just have to struggle
    along with the next best thing re-creations of
    the Great Outdoors, set inside sanitized domes.
    With sand Ron Gluckman, 1999 Morning Calm

Disney Paris
Fantasyland Disney Epcot
  • Globalisation metaphors of cultural breakdown do
    not take into account a range of other more
    alternative consumption spaces and practices
  • Consumption seen as intrinsically evil and
    morally corrupting. How accurate is this?
  • Weak theorisation of consumer agency