The Characteristics of Shopping Behaviors of Tianjin's Residents

  • Department of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871

Received date: 1999-12-28

  Revised date: 2000-03-14

  Online published: 2000-11-20


In the study field of shopping behaviors in commercial geography, China is, in the whole, far behind the foreign countries, although its research on retail spatial networks, mainly based upon the location theory, has made great progress. In practice, most of today's Chinese retailers find themselves in the dilemma. The purchasing ability and shopping behaviors of urban residents are becoming important and crucial factors in the urban retail market, especially in the status quo of structural surplus in merchandise supplement,while the retailers' marketing ideas are still lagged in the times of traditional planned shortage economy. All of these push Chinese commercial geographers to make such research on the characteristics of shopping behaviors of urban residents in China. Initially, the authors, based upon the questionnaires for urban residential trip in Tianjin City, China, analyze and conclude the characteristics of shopping behaviors. Then, an aggregated shopping trip distance and the ring-shape structure of shopping activity space for different hierarchical commodities for Tianjin's residents are put forward. The ring-shape structure shows a tendency of distance-decay in the hierarchies of commodities. The shopping space for the hierarchy of food and vegetables from the consumers' family-sites is about 0.5 km, which is, to some degree, the spatial scope of neighborhood in China's cities; that of the goods of everyday use is about 1 km, indicating the servicing space of a community; that of the durable commodities is about 6 km, almost the distance of the mean spatial radium of Tianjin City, which indicates that residents have to prefer to inner City to purchase such commodities, especially for the residents in such City with a solo-core as Tianjin City. The authors make further study on the purchasing frequencies of different hierarchies of commodities, and find out that they show a positive relation with the shopping space as a whole, but the business suit and electronic appliances are not the case. The discrepancy reflects the scope economy in commodities with high hierarchy in high grade shopping centers, for both retailers and consumers. For the shopping time allocation, consumers in Tianjin City show two crests which concentrate from 9 am to 11am and from 3 pm to 7 pm respectively, although there are a few discrepancies between Sunday and Monday. For the constraints of noon break and night sleep, the periods from 1 pm and 2 pm and from midnight to daybreak see less consumers go out for shop. All of these is much different from Japanese urban consumers who can shop throughout the night and feel less constrained in the day time. Although multi-purpose shopping trip is an evident tendency in the West, more than 80 percent of Tianjian's consumers just shop for shopping. One-shopping-trip is the main mode for residents in Tianjin City to shop, and a possible explanation lies in the fact that 95 percent of consumers would rather shop on feet or by bicycles than shop by automobiles.Based upon the characteristics of shopping behaviors of Tianjin's residents, the authors bring out some suggestions and measures to government for urban commercial planning, and to retailers for marketing strategies.

Cite this article

WU Zong-qing, CHAI Yan-wei, ZHANG Zhi-bin . The Characteristics of Shopping Behaviors of Tianjin's Residents[J]. SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA, 2000 , (6) : 534 -539 . DOI: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2000.06.534


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