Importance of Location in Successful Retailing

By Ravindra P. Saxena and Balqees Al Hashemi.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Over the decades, the importance of location of retail shops has been highlighted by many researchers, academicians and practitioners to understand the importance of retail location in achieving success. In today’s highly competitive environment, choosing the correct site location for a retail outlet ranks amongst the top factors in determining that outlet’s success or failure. According to Jones, K. and Simons, J., (1990) retailers can “attack uncertainty and increase the odds of survival by improving their sources of information.” Maximizing sales is a primary objective for retailers, hence, finding the perfect site location that will facilitate both footfall and growth, is of key importance (O’Malley, et al, 1995).
Dubai is the fastest growing Emirate within the UAE and has become famous as a “retail destination” for many tourists (BMI, 2010). With a diverse range of malls that house some of the world’s most exclusive, coveted and popular retail brands, shopping has become a popular pastime and entertaining activity with both residents and tourists alike. It is interesting to note that even with the recession, retailers are going strong and in certain cases, new retail outlets are also being opened. A good location provides the firm, with strategic advantages that competition may find difficult to overcome (Ghosh and Samuel, 1983). This paper in general explains the importance of location in defining the retail success and discusses the location of ‘Dubai Mall’ as a real life case study which opened its doors for shoppers in November, 2008.
Dubai Mall- is the largest mall in Middle East-the largest in the world by space- and is surrounded by interesting attractive venues such as “Burj Khalifa”- the tallest building in the world. The aim of this paper is to emphasize the importance of the Dubai mall location in defining its current strategic success. The corresponding author of this paper is a faculty of marketing at the university, who gave a live project on the ‘strategic location of Dubai Mall’ to a group of four students in his class of retail marketing management in spring’2010; and acknowledges the efforts and contribution of Ms. Belqes Ahmed AlHashemi, Ms. Sarah Mohammed, Mr. Ziad Basheer and Mr. Mohammad in developing the case study on the Dubai Mall and executing the shoppers’ survey at the mall. Ms. Belqes, who contributed her time and efforts with the professor in writing this paper later, even after graduating from the university, has been given the status of co-author in this study.
Initially this paper looks at the historic background of the retail location from an historian’s perspective as theories emerged since 1920’s; stating that location selection is very crucial and important for the success of the retail establishments. Firstly, an exhaustive literature review is done by the authors to analyze the importance of location in retailing and then a real life case study of “Dubai Mall” is developed and discussed to substantiate the theories to highlight the importance of location in successful retailing and how location can be used as a strategic tool for making a successful retail establishment. A survey of 100 shoppers/visitors at Dubai Mall and an in-depth interview with the designated authority at Dubai Mall was executed to analyze the role of strategic location of this mall in establishing a competitive advantage in a highly competitive retail environment in Dubai.

Keywords: Retail Philosophy, Site Selection, Retailing, Dubai Mall

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp.37-60. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.752MB).

Dr. Ravindra P. Saxena

Assistant Professor of Strategic Marketing, Faculty of Business and Management, University of Wollongong in Dubai, Dubai, U.A.E., United Arab Emirates

Ravindra P. Saxena is a faculty of Strategic Marketing at University of Wollongong in Dubai since 2007. He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Business Administration with specialization in Marketing. He did his Ph.D. in Economics in the area of Marketing of Financial Services. Before joining at UOWD he was working as Professor of Marketing at Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad (ranked among the top ten B-schools in India). Professor Saxena has a vast experience of 30 years, of which 8 years in industry and 22 years in management education. He has presented a number of research papers in International Conferences and has a large number of published papers in books, conference proceedings, and leading international journals. His area of interest is Societal Marketing, Green Marketing, Services Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, Consumer Behavior and Retail Marketing Management.

Balqees Al Hashemi

Scholar (MSM-Graduate Student), Business and Management, University of Wollongong in Dubai, Dubai, U.A.E, United Arab Emirates

Balqees Al Hashemi has recently completed her Master of Strategic Marketing at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) and graduated with distinction. Her areas of interest are Consumer Behaviour, Luxury Marketing, and Marketing Management. She earned her Bachelor degree in Business Administration/Marketing with honour from Abu Dhabi University in 2008. Balqees is currently associated with Dr. Ravindra in co-authoring research papers. She has more than 3 years of work experience in different fields of marketing including IT sector, and is currently working as a PR Executive in Abu Dhabi Media Company; one of the leading media companies in the Middle East.


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