Success Of A Suburban Shopping Centre Cultural Studies Essay

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Jurong Point was built in 1995 (Jurong Point, 2007); initially it was established to cater to the needs of the residents living in and around the Boon Lay area. As the west district becomes more developed, with more amenities and buildings being built, such as The Jurong Central Park and Jurong Safra, it resulted in Jurong Point having to undergo two major renovations and expansion in year December 2000 and December 2008 respectively in order to cater to the demands of the high increase in patronage (Jurong Point, 2007). As we can see, today, "the role of suburban shopping centre in the local context does not merely exist to cater to shopping needs but also to provide complementary and supporting facilities to the local community.

Spatial Environment of Jurong Point Shopping Centre

C:\Users\NIE\Pictures\Map of JP.jpg

Figure 1

Source: Retrieved from Street Directory, Singapore

C:\Users\NIE\Desktop\Connectivity.jpg

Figure 2

Source: Author

The location of Jurong Point Shopping Centre is marked out with a red star in the map above (Figure 1). Jurong Point is strategically located in Jurong in the western part of the island. According to Figure 1 as shown, the shopping centre is virtually situated between the Boon Lay MRT Station and a 65-bay bus interchange. Furthermore, based on its spatial location shown in Figure 2, it shows an indication of one form of spatial interaction and connectivity that is suggested by the lines; one can tell that it serves as a gateway to the 3 main categories of consumers: industrial estate of Jurong West, Singapore's Key Educational Institutions as well as the residential population in the west. These people have a common type of mobility - Circulation.

Jurong West Industrial Estate

Jurong Point is located 0.4 kilometre from Khong Guan Factory and Shell Boon Lay, 0.5 kilometre from Sime Darby Edible Factory and Jurong Fire Station and other 1500 factories in its vicinity. As the representative map retrieved from OneMap has its limitations, it is impossible to portray all 1500 factories in the figure as shown.

Customers it serves

Since the bus interchange is located in line with Jurong Point Shopping Centre, it serves as a gateway for these industrial Workers, factory workers and foreign workers to travel to and fro for work.

Educational institutions

There are many schools located near Jurong Point. For example, Jurong Point is located 0.3 kilometres from River Valley High School, 0.6 kilometres from Boon Lay Secondary School and Jurong West Secondary school, 0.8 kilometres from Boon Lay Garden Primary School, 0.9 kilometres from Jurong West Primary School, 1 kilometre from West Grove Primary School and Grace Orchard School, 1.3 kilometre from Lakeside Primary School and Corporation Primary School and 3 kilometres from Nanyang Technological University. (pls check with sis: how to cite newsletters)

Customers it serves

Students staying in the hostel of Nanyang Technological University are frequent patrons of Jurong Point Shopping Centre as it caters to the basic necessities needs of these students. NTUC Extra which operates 24-hour daily is a favourite supermarket of these students to get their basic necessities. Also, not forgetting the students from other educational institutions like the Secondary Schools students who like to hang out with their friends. Furthermore, Frontier Community Centre has a library which attracts the flow of students from these institutes.

Residents of Jurong West Constituency

Jurong West was the registered place of address for the second largest group of Singapore residents with 267, 500 residents residing in the area. Besides the HDB blocks surrounding Jurong Point, The Centris, NTU Hall 3, Bukit Batok Boys Hostel, D Kranji Farm Resort, NUS Visitor's Lodge, Pasir Panjang Inn as well as Riders Lodge are places to stay located in the vicinity of Jurong Point.

Customers it serves

Jurong Point serves as a one-stop shopping hub for these residents of Jurong West Constituency. As it is located in the heart of Jurong, it brought convenience for people especially to the residents staying in the The Centris condominium which is located just above the shopping centre.

These categories of consumers have a common similarity in their mobility. Majority of them have to pass by Jurong Point five days in a week, provided if they are not travelling by car or cab.

Underlying Determinants of Retail Patronage of Jurong Point Shopping Centre

Jurong Point Shopping Centre has an added advantage of locating side-by-side with Boon Lay MRT station and Boon Lay Bus Interchange. These two added features are the key underlying determinants in constituting to the high human traffic flow of Jurong Point Shopping Centre. As Buses and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) are the most common public transport tools use by the people in Singapore, it is inevitable that most people have to pass through Jurong Point since it is virtually sitting in between the Boon Lay MRT Station and Boon Lay Bus Interchange. The inter-relation between these two added features and Jurong Point Shopping Centre is a crucial aspect of making the shopping centre a successful one. In addition, because of its large-scale size (approximately 750, 000 square feet), it is able to contain more retailers (approximately 450 retailers) which increases the probability of providing shops and services that meet the demands of the shoppers. (Jurong Point, 2007)

Traffic Flow and Customers' Fidelity

In another study, Sirmans and Guidry (1993) point out that high consumer traffic flows are a prerequisite for the success of a shopping centre. The higher the consumer traffic flow, the higher is the probability of retail sales. Therefore, a field study was carried out at various locations of Jurong Point Shopping Centre manually counting the human traffic flow using a counter over two days - one on a weekday and the other on a weekend. The results for the two days are collated and are shown in Table 1 below:

Table 1: Human Traffic Count of Jurong Point Shopping Centre

Location

1st Reading

2nd Reading

3rd Reading

Mean

Main Entrance of JP

beside SK Jewelry

149

142

172

154

Interlink between JP2& Interchange

171

132

131

145

Entrance beside Cotton On

75

67

75

72

Source: Author's Survey

As we can see from the results as shown in Table 1, Jurong Point has a high mean average of human traffic flow.

Description of Survey Sample

Mall visitors and patrons were randomly intercepted while they were entering the shopping centres and invited to participate in the survey. To insure that the survey results are not concentrated on specific group of shoppers based on the timing of their visits, the interviews were spread out over two days of the week - one on a weekday and the other on a weekend. In total, 100 patrons obliged to the request to be interviewed.

The age distribution of the interviewees is presented in Chart 1 as shown below. Approximately, 20% of the respondents were below 20 years. The majority (65%) fall between the 20 - 40 years old age group. Respondents above 40 years old constitute another 15% of the survey sample.

Chart 1: Profile of Survey Respondents by Age

Source: Author's Survey

A sample of the questions listed in the survey is shown below:

Survey on Jurong Point Shopping Centre

Please circle your age group:

10 - 15 years old b. 15 - 30 years old

30 - 35 years old d. 35 - 40 years old

40 - 50 years old f. 50 - 60 years old

Please state your occupation and list down the location of your workplace (if applicable):

Student (Please specify your school): ____________________________________

Professional/Managerial: ____________ c. Technical: ___________________

Labourer/operator/cleaner: ___________ d. Sales Worker: _________________

Housewife: _______________________ f. Others (Please specify): _________

What is the purpose for you to come to Jurong Point? (Please circle all that apply)

a. For Shopping & Dining purposes

b. For Transportation purposes (to take the bus/train)

c. For Recreation & Entertainment purposes (eg. Movies, Arcades)

d. For Working purposes

e. Others (Please specify): ___________________________________________________

What are the factors that make you want to come to Jurong Point? (Please circle all that apply)

Convenience - Jurong Point is located near my place.

Ample parking space

Shops and services that can meet my needs

Others (Please specify): _________________________________________________

Are you living in the West? (Please circle)

Yes

If you are, how long do you take to reach Jurong Point?

Please specify: ___________

No

If no, which part of Singapore do you live? Please specify: _____________________

How many times do you drop by Jurong Point in a week? (Please circle)

Daily b.Once a week

Twice a week d.Thrice a week

Others: _________________

Are you a resident of The Centris (the condo located above Jurong Point)?

Yes

If yes, why do you choose to stay there?

No

In your opinion, please rate the following according to the scale from 1 - 5:

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

1

2

3

4

5

Jurong Point is a successful shopping mall. 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Jurong Point is able to provide me with the basic demands of shopping needs

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

I prefer to shop at Jurong Point than other shopping malls/centres 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

I have an experience of pleasant shopping environment at JP. 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

 Thank You so much! 

Results of Surveys

Table 2: Main Purpose(s) for Visiting a Suburban Shopping Centre - Jurong Point Shopping Centre

Reasons % of Responses

Walk around

Shopping

Dining

Recreation & Entertainment

Transportation

Source: Author's Survey

Table 3: Factors that drew consumers to shop at Jurong Point Shopping Centre

Factors % of Responses

Convenience & Easy access

Ample Parking Space

Shops and Services that meet the basic needs of demands

Others

Source: Author's Survey

"It is convenient to travel to Jurong Point Shopping Centre. There is a bus stop about 100 metres away from my flat… It is direct to go there, furthermore, it takes me around 10 minutes to reach. If I go to Orchard Road, I need to change transport which is not worth the effort, as things there are almost the same" (woman, 30 - 35, professional, Chinese, no car.)

As quoted from a woman being surveyed, she further elaborated the reasons why she chose to shop at Jurong Point Shopping Centre. Hence, based on the results of the survey as illustrated in Table 3, convenience and easy access to a suburban shopping centre is the main factor that drew consumers to shop at the mall.

Table 4: Analysis on Shopping Patterns

% of Responses Visits Per Month

Panel A: By Age

< 20 years

20

20 - 40 years

65

> 40 years

15

Panel B: By Travel Time

< 15 mins

70

15 - 30 mins

20

> 30 mins

10

Source: Author's Survey

In another research, Mejia and Benjamin (2002) indicate that the retail market of a mall is traditionally referred to as the area from which a shopping centre draws 70% - 80% of its sales. Those people who took 30 minutes or less to travel to Jurong Point Shopping Centre are likely to stay in close proximity to the mall, thus, fall within the local retail market boundary of the shopping centre. Based on the results as shown in Table 4, 70% of the respondents took less than 15 minutes to travel to Jurong Point Shopping Centre, 20% of the respondents took around 15 - 20 minutes and a minority of 10% of the respondents took more than 30 minutes. This group of shoppers is generally known as "outshoppers".

Conclusion

The aim of this report was to analyze and examine the non-monetary measures which brought the success of a suburban shopping centre - Jurong Point Shopping Centre. There are many different factors that contributed to the success of Jurong Point Shopping Centre. Based on the research, the main underlying determinant which contributed to the critical success of the shopping centre has been identified by the author -the efficient transportation system such as Boon Lay MRT station and Boon Lay Bus Interchange that are co-located with Jurong Point Shopping Centre. This ensures that the shoppers living within the regional centre are well linked to the suburban shopping centres. All in all, suburban shopping centres "act as a focal point for the neighbourhood and have significantly altered the residents' lifestyle with their tenant mix of customary retail shops, entertainment outlets, cinemas, public library, and food courts", all-in-one almost at their doorstep. (Ibrahim and Ng, 2002)

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