Factors that influence tenants preference of shopping mall in Kenya, a case of Thika road mall, Nairobi
This research explores why retailers prefer to locate in one shopping mall and not another. What attributes makes one shopping mall more desirable to retailers than another? To do so, this research reviews literature for understanding the preference criteria of retail location in the shopping mall context. The review provides overall insight into prior studies that specifically emphasize on factors influencing tenant/ retailer preference of shopping malls. Thika Road Mall is chosen as a reference. Shopping mall preference is being evaluated by using various attributes such as location, tenant mix, mall image and availability of parking. A descriptive survey of retailers within the mall was carried out through the use of questionnaires, interviews and observations as research instruments. A census survey of the entire population was adopted due to the small size of the target population. Data obtained from the field was analyzed by use of mean scores and standard deviation to establish the relationship between the various independent variables and the dependent variable. The SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) and Microsoft Excel were used to analyze the data. Data presentation was in form of descriptive statistics. Statements of the facts found out were used to further explain the findings of the research. The study established that location is a major determinant of mall preference by the prospective tenants of the mall as it is considered to have considerable influence on the number of customers that visit the mall, thus improving sales by resident retailers. The study further established that all the aspects of tenant mix including presence of complementary tenants, competing tenants, anchor tenant and tenant placement significantly affect the tenant preference of a shopping mall. Also, the study revealed that the shopping mall image features are positively related to mall preference with the mall layout and the general image of the mall holding equal importance in tenants’ mall preference evaluation. The study further established that prospective mall tenants consider availability of parking as an important attribute of the mall when choosing to locate at a particular shopping mall. The general conclusion to this study is that retailers prefer a shopping mall to be strategically located, to have variety of stores, to have adequate and accessible parking and to have an impressive mall image. The presence of all these attributes rather than some of them has the potential of attracting many retailers to locate in a particular shopping mall. The study concludes that with a better understanding of the tenants’ mall preference attributes and their site selection criteria and methodologies, shopping mall developers can better understand what attributes, and which information will best help them in improving their mall attractiveness.
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