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Warsaw

​Enthusiasts or frequenters? X or Y? Show me how you do your shopping and I'll tell you who you are

Shopping centres are modern department stores, community centres, high streets and meeting points. These are the places where the paths of generations X and Y cross. 30% of Polish customers are shopping enthusiasts, while70% are frequenters. But what does


Atrium Poland - owner, developer and manager of shopping centres, and international advisory company JLL present the report "Enthusiasts and frequenters. Generation X[1] and Y in shopping centres". The report analyzes the shopping styles of generations X and Y, taking into account geographical differences. The research involved more than 2,000 customers of shopping centres across the country.

Małgorzata Komarczuk, Group Head of Marketing, Atrium Poland, says - "We conduct continuous market analysis in order to meet the expectations of our customers. Together with JLL we have taken a completely different research approach, based on the segmentation of shopping centre visitors in Poland, to identify what behaviours, attitudes and habits characterize us - customers. We identified five different customer types and described them as shopping styles".

The report also shows how many "non-shopping" factors are becoming increasingly important for consumers - how quickly we absorb and use new technologies, and how they change our expectations towards shopping centres in this area.

"We wanted to analyze the attitude of Polish consumers to visiting shopping centres and see the differences in shopping habits between generations X and Y, residents of major agglomerations and smaller cities. During the research we discovered that the customer's age and place of residence are not as crucial as first thought. That is why we went further - highlighting and analyzing the shopping styles of Polish consumers, as well as checking how shopping centres can meet the different needs of increasingly demanding customers"- explains Anna Bartoszewicz-Wnuk, Head of Research and Consulting at JLL.

According to the report, 30% of Polish consumers are shopping enthusiasts, and 70% are so-called frequenters. Despite the systematic development of e-commerce, Poles like spending time in shopping centres, and not only for shopping. Shopping malls are becoming places of social and business meetings as well as cultural or entertainment events, also featuring famous people.

"Therefore, there are such elements which are becoming increasingly important, like the shopping atmosphere, attractive interior design and other amenities - comfortable relaxation zones, attractive catering areas, widely available Wi-Fi, cell and laptop charging points which we are introducing in our centres" - adds Małgorzata Komarczuk.

X vs Y

People from generation X go shopping more often on their own than generation Y, with a clearly defined plan which they try to follow. Among the priorities there are groceries and household goods, followed by clothing, shoes and accessories. Generation Y is less task-oriented, often going to shopping centres to "hunt" for bargains and look for shopping inspiration. They are more interested in the fashion offer than groceries and, more often than X, utilize the service and entertainment offer. For 75% of Y respondents, the shopping centre is a good place to meet with friends (64% for X). Ys more often benefit from cultural and sports amenities, arrange business meetings, or work on their laptop in shopping malls. Ys buy more often from 'bricks and mortar' stores, with the potential intention of making a return (41% vs. 35%).

X and Y in the world of new technologies

New technologies and ways of communication in social media are not only the domain of the younger generation. 71% of Xs and 86% of Ys have a smartphone. Younger consumers (20 - 34 years old) are always online and more often read Internet forums before buying. They also review products. Both groups are active in social media with the most preferred channel being Facebook - 77% of respondents, followed by YouTube (64%), and Nasza Klasa (29%), popular mainly among the Xs.

What is interesting, despite the very high activity in the virtual world, 62% of respondents occasionally visit shopping centre websites. Over 50% of Xs and Ys do not follow the profile of a shopping centre, and most do not install shopping mall applications, although they would like to receive information about offers in a fast and accessible way. Customers more often observe specific brands in social media. This shows the potential for shopping centre owners who could engage their customers more by using new technologies and other communication channels.

Show me how you shop and I'll tell you who you are - enthusiast or frequenter

The report by Atrium and JLL shows that shopping centres visitors are divided into two groups - enthusiasts - people who really like to hang out and go shopping in shopping centres (30% of respondents) and less engaged visitors - frequenters (70%). Within these two groups we can distinguish their respective types of shopping styles.

Among enthusiasts, there are two main shopping styles. The first one is the so-called shopaholic - these people represent 18% of customers, they visit malls often and like shopping - especially for clothes. The second type is a multi-purpose visitor (12%) – visiting shopping centres most frequently, informed on promotions and using the entire range that the mall has to offer. In the frequenter category the types are: social shopper (treating a visit in the shopping centre as a social entertainment experience - 29% of respondents), rational shopper (mainly fashion shopping - 21%) and purpose-driven shopper (visiting shopping centres relatively rarely, with a clearly defined purchase list - 20%).

"As the report shows, as well as the research conducted directly in our commercial buildings, age and generational differences are blurring, and the approach to shopping is dominated now by individual attitudes and preferences of a particular customer. We are observing the "rejuvenation" of generation X and their considerable knowledge of modern technologies. We also see that our customers appreciate both the opportunity to search for the product on the Internet and verification of the product in reality. They use new technologies and social media, meaning that shopping centres - like ours - have to start using this type of communication channels more extensively, including Facebook, mobile applications and web pages. Research shows that aspects not directly related to the purchasing offer have a large impact on the frequency of visits in shopping centres. We are looking for places where we feel safe, comfortable, where we can experience something new and unexpected - particularly with regards to generation Y. When it comes to shopping in malls, compared to online shopping, beyond the "physical" aspect - touching, trying on, customer service, interior design, lighting, signage, exhibitions, and the range of shops play a key role. These areas, along with the commercial offer, will mostly affect the competitiveness of shopping centres"- says Jolanta Wawrzyszuk, a. COO, Atrium Poland.

Shopping centres strive for the customer

Poland - with the shopping centre stock of nearly nine million sq m GLA - is the eighth largest market in Europe. JLL data shows that in 2017 the supply may increase to approx. 11 million sq m. Such an increase is a challenge for landlords, property managers, especially because today's customer is increasingly demanding.

"Shopping centres, in order to build a competitive advantage, should work out a development strategy taking into account the different types of consumers and styles of shopping. Based on the knowledge of a shopping centre's customers, the local market and specifics of an object, a property manager should target the centre's offer to specific groups. Not all shopping styles are represented in all malls, so investing in a 100% diverse offer "for everyone" may prove unprofitable. Certainly it is always worth focusing on the comfort of visitors – e.g. a cloakroom, a place to charge electronic devices, amenities for families with children, easy access to information - both at the information desk, on the website, as well as in particular shops. It requires coordinated communication and marketing activities involving tenants, as well as a stronger synergy between online and offline actions. According to the survey, this action is increasingly expected by clients representing different ages who are interested in, among other things, collection points for online purchases, or smartphone applications to help find a particular product in a shopping mall"- summarizes Justyna Williams, Director of Retail Operations, Property Management, JLL.

 



[1] There are different definitions of generation X and Y commonly used. For the purposes of the report generation X was defined as people born between 1961 - 1980 (age 35-54) and Y - in 1981-1995 period (age 20-34).​