Place marketing factors that attract Millennials to shopping centres in South Africa

Prof Roland Goldberg, Dr Mia Bothma

Vol 19 | Issue 2 pp. 1-14


The ‘retail apocalypse’ has disrupted traditional retail, forcing retailers to find innovative ways to reach customers. As Millennials are a significant and growing consumer demographic with a relatively high purchasing power, it is essential for shopping centres to attract them. This study aimed to identify the place marketing factors that impact shopping centre patronage among Millennials. An exploratory research design was used, and data was collected by means of four focus group sessions with 40 participants, who were selected using purposive sampling. The data was analysed using the Morse and Field approach and Atlas.ti 23, and rigour was ensured by confirming Guba’s criteria. The findings indicate that Millennials are attracted to shopping centres through a variety of shops and products, location, and product engagement. Additionally, the findings suggest that desired place marketing factors for Millennials include design, parking, entertainment, hygiene, staff, signage, bathrooms, and safety. In contrast, insufficient parking, low levels of hygiene, overcrowding, safety, insufficient staff, and car guards discourage Millennials from visiting shopping centres. Although the study only represents the opinions of Millennials aged 18 to 35, excluding those aged 16 and 17, for ethical reasons, it is the first to investigate the place marketing factors that affect this generational cohort’s patronage of shopping centres in South Africa. Shopping centres can remain relevant and increase footfall and sales by appealing to Millennials and their preferences in the rapidly evolving retail landscape.

Keywords: Place marketing, Millennials, Generation Y, retail apocalypse, retail industry, shopping centres

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