Shopping Center Business Plan

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We hope you enjoy this fascinating snapshot of a planning issue of yesteryear.

Download original report (pdf) Suburban shopping centers have come into existence, grown in size, and increased in number not because they offer new products or better stores than are to be found in central business districts, but because they are convenient.

Once the gross annual volume of business of the center has been estimated, the average number of cars using the center daily may be estimated.

Also the peak traffic, in and out, may be estimated, and the time of day at which peak loads will occur may be determined (see below: Stage Two).

The area enclosed within the thirty-minute driving time has to be calculated according to the condition and congestion of the streets and is not always in direct ratio to linear distance.

Five miles of expressway may be traversed more quickly than five blocks of crowded business section.Every shopping center that we know of has a supermarket (a large retail grocery) in it, and the supermarket is either the largest traffic generator of the shopping center, or is secondary only to a department store in the center.Shopping centers may be distinguished between those that are dominated by a supermarket or retail grocery, and whose secondary store is a drug store or variety store; and those that are dominated by a department store, and whose secondary store is a supermarket, or another department store.The key to the access problem is not the volume of traffic passing the center, but the density.As traffic surveys have often shown, the total number of cars passing a given point on a road (the volume) eventually drops as the density gets close to the saturation point. The closer the cars are packed together, the slower they must go.The two types of shopping centers will differ considerably in their area requirements, the number and types of stores, and the annual gross business.They differ also in the trade area served, and the types of shopping needs fulfilled. 44 and 47 have covered market area analysis for shopping centers and criteria and standards for shopping center stores.PAS published its first Information Report in 1949.To celebrate this history, each month we're presenting a new report from the archives.The planner is concerned primarily with the shopper and his (her) trip to the shopping center only after the shopper is driving on the road and up to the time that he enters one of the stores in the center.After that, we leave him to the world of stretchable hose and non-stretchable budgets.


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