The spatial dynamics of shopping malls in the context of rising eCommerce, Shenzhen, China

Authors: Zuopeng Xiao*, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Geography
Keywords: shopping mall, eCommerce, retail, big data
Session Type: Paper
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The dramatic changes of physical retail environment, caused by the rise of online shopping, have been intensively examined from different perspectives. However, few studies have investigated these changes at the whole city level in China (which is globally leading the growth of e-retailing), partially resulted from the data unavailability. The digital LBS technologies enable each mobile phone and applications installed as social sensors to collect daily travels/activities. It provides a new method for retail studies to collect retail locations, compute customer volume and even infer demographic features of the mobile phone owner. With a dataset of this kind, namely, including over 500,000 client information for 109 shopping malls in Shenzhen, China, this paper aims to explore how the physical shopping mall are evolving with time. The preliminary research shows the location density of modern shopping malls increases, while the catchment for each mall becomes small. The retail categories also see structural changes that the number of stores selling general goods reduces while stores selling special goods and all kinds of on-site services (e.g., restaurant, leisure, culture and training) grow significantly. These densification shifts are shaping a new retail landscape. This emerging landscape actually apparels with the booming eCommerce, although no direct evidence strongly indicates the causality between these changes and e-tailing. It provides sufficient policy implications for retail planning and urban land use planning.

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