Shopping as an experience
Abstract: The consumption society is expanding with stores and shopping malls which require that a store as well as a mall distinguish from the great mass. Today's consumption society is a difficult marketplace for companies to reach out to their consumers. In this master thesis it has been investigated how shopping malls can create competitive advantages in a saturated market. It has also been researched how the similarity of the stores in shopping malls affect the future development of the concept in itself. The research has been carried out through a qualitative research method and a case study of three different shopping malls in Stockholm, Sweden: Brunogallerian, Forum Nacka and Vällingby City. Four respondents have been interviewed from each shopping mall. The investigation has also been supplemented by a online consumer survey of 105 people. There has been used a theoretical framework based on relationship marketing, branding strategies, experience- and sensory marketing. Throughout the thesis it has consistently been used four fields of knowledge with the aim of facilitate the common thread throughout the thesis. The four fields are: Shopping malls on the Swedish market, Image and branding of shopping malls, Creating relationships with the consumers and Shopping as an experience. Furthermore, it has been presented the empirical results of the interviews and the consumer survey according to the previously mentioned fields. The result of the interviews and the theoretical findings has been analyzed and further on been discussed with the purpose of discover own theories and results. In conclusion, it has been stated that it is of great importance to offer the consumer added value and niche the profile and the retail mix of the shopping mall in a unique way. It is also essential to get to know its target group by creating events and activities that address the certain target. The similarity of the stores in the malls is profitable and the great mass of consumers demand for the large retail chains. In the future there can be a major development of more niche stores in the large shopping malls, with the aim of attract a broader as well as a more definite target group.
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