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International Research Journal of Business and Management IRJBM

A STUDY ON THE CONSUMER BEHAVIOR TOWARDS SHOPPING MALL IN MADURAI


CITY
Dr.S.Yaaminidevi
Guest faculty, Department of Management Studies,
Madurai Kamaraj University
Abstract
Madurai, second largest city in TamilNadu, categorised as a tier II city is experiencing mall
culture in recent years. Malls are considered as the visible face of Indian retail scene. In India, Mall
culture was confined to metropolitan and Tier I cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkatta, Mumbai etc.,
Currently, Malls are making their presence in Tier II and Tier III cities due to expanding middle and
upper class customer base. Tier-II and -III cities are in the midst of a retail revolution, where
supermarkets and hypermarkets are booming, offering a wide array of choices and cool comfort to
shop. Madurai has a very high number of low socio-economic households which constitute almost
50% of citys population; The objective of this research is to understand the consumer behavior
towards mall in a rurban Tier II city like Madurai which is in the process of a radical shift from
conventional trader run shops to organized and large retail mall formats. The study of consumer
behavior is the most important factor for marketing any goods and services, as the consumer behavior
suggest how individual, groups and organization select, buy use, and dispose goods services, ideas or
experience to satisfy their needs and wants. The study was carried out in a recently emerged mall Vishal De Mall in Madurai city. A sample of 100 respondents was taken for the study. Facility
Management a crucial part of Mall management in terms of ambience, infrastructure and traffic was
analyzed. It was suggested that Mall owners need to improvise their services to meet the expectations
of the customer and develop innovative ideas in marketing their products and services to ensure high
footfall.
I. Introduction:
Madurai, located in the State of Tamil Nadu, South India popularly called as temple city, categorized
as Tier II city is having a population of 14,62,420 persons as per Census 2011.Madurai has a very
high number of low socio-economic households which constitute almost 50% of citys population.
Indian retail is expected to grow 25 per cent annually. The BMI India Retail Report analysis for the
third-quarter of 2010, forecasts that the total retail sales will grow from US$ 353 billion in 2010 to
US$ 543.2 billion by 2014. The US-based global management consulting firm, AT Kearney, in its
Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) 2011, has ranked India as the fourth most attractive nation
for retail investment, among 30 emerging markets. The Indian retail sector accounts for 22 per cent of
the country are GDP and contribute to 8 percent of total employment. Shopping malls are one of the
most visible faces of the Indian retail scene not only in big cities but also in smaller cities. Changing
wants and needs of the customer, increased spending power, higher education, exposure to brand and
products, formation of nuclear families, increased number of working couples, and availability of
retail space and qualified manpower attributed to retail revolution in India. Malls, in particular, are
contributing hugely to the development of organized retail. Malls are coming up both within cities and
at the outskirts vowing to create destinations that will attract thousands of customers every day.
Madurai entered into mall culture with a shopping mall in the North Madurai in year 2009 called
Milanem Mall and Vishal De mall in the year 2012.One more mall Kshitjis shopping mall is likely
to emerge shortly.

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II Review of Literature:
Feinberg, Sheffler, Meoli and Rummel 1989 considered the social stimulation provided by malls,
finding that the mall served as an outlet for social behavior. Shopping malls are designed to persuade
users to adopt certain physical and social behavior related to shopping Goss, 1993 This makes both
the social and physical environments of the mall crucial in shaping user behaviour. The researcher
further stated, mall designers manipulate the behavior of shoppers by consciously designing a
symbolic landscape that provokes consumption oriented behaviours. Van der Waerden and Borgers
1994 found that there is a strong relation between the location of the chosen parking lot and the
location of visited stores which is proved by empirical evidence.
Bloch et al., 1994; Roy, 1994 demonstrated that consumers mainly visit go to shopping malls for
entertainment purpose, boredom relief, get together, interaction with friends, fun, relaxation and
freedom from concerns about personal safety, and to make comparison shopping. Roy 1994 in his
study considered several characteristics of the shoppers like functional shopping motivation, deal
proneness, recreational shopping motivation, age, income and family size, have a significant influence
on mall shopping frequency. Emotional responses and shopping decision in particular shopping
situations are influenced by specific image dimensions. Finn and Louviere, 1996; Tai and Fung, 1997
Marjanen 1997 found parking as one of the most important store choice variables. Among the visitors
of supermarkets and department stores. Aesthetics and ambience are considered as important factors
in the context of malls atmosphere.Colour, Music, crowding attribute to shoppers evaluation and
perception of the malls environment. Malls perceived to have a pleasant and moderately arousing
atmosphere are likely to be more favoured by shoppers. There is evidence in the retailing literature
that mall atmosphere is an important factor in mall evaluation, patronage and loyalty (cited (Andreu
etal., 2006), (Babin and attaway, 2000), (Grewal et al., 2003), (Keng et al., 2007), (Michon et al.,
2005)
According to Leo and Phillipe 2002, the shopping mall image is a created from the elements such as
retail mix, infrastructure and atmosphere. Therefore, the shopping mall image can be managed to
create a shopping destination for its potential shoppers Warnaby and Medway, 2004.
Malls with acceptable prices are likely to be favoured by shoppers than malls with stores having
unacceptable prices. Similarly, malls that engage in promotions to offer shoppers more store bargains
are the most favoured ones. Much evidence exists supporting the effect of prices and promotion on
shoppers behavioral responses (cited Leo and Phillipe, 2002, Parsons, 2003, Yavas, 2001and Yavas,
2003.
LeHew, Burgess and Wesley 2002 investigated the feasibility of customer loyalty towards an
enclosed mall. Their findings clearly stated that price, store personnel, store display, merchandise,
mall facilities, atmosphere and location influenced the mall loyalty of customers.
According to Mc Goldrick 2002, the shopping mall image is a multidimensional concept where the
tangibility of functional attributes are related to its physical features; and secondly the intangibility
attributes are the atmospherics qualities. Also, shopping mall image is a combination of functional
qualities perceived by shopper like convenience, parking facilities and service quality) as well as
psychological attributes like salesmanship and atmosphere)
Sinha 2003 his research pointed out that the evolving retail environment in India seems to be affecting
the orientation of Indian retailing. He suggested that retailers in shopping malls need to take up the

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task of demonstrating the value addition of the store. where the format of the store could be the
prime driver.
Choo, Jung and Pysarchik 2004 pointed out that Indian consumers attitude towards new products is
changing significantly which can increase their intention to shop in new retail formats such as
supermarkets/ hypermarkets / malls. Therefore, product features like quality, price and availability of
new products are important factors within the Indian context.
Martin and Turley 2004 found out the attitudes of the older segment of Generation Y consumers (19
25 yrs) towards a mall, and on their consumption motivation. It was found that Generation Y
consumers are more objectively motivated than socially motivated to consume. They also found that
objective motivations to consume predict an individual consumer's perception of a shopping mall's
ambience, layout, and his or her involvement in the shopping process.
Sinha and Banerjee 2004 revealed that shoppers gave prominence to proximity of the store,
merchandise and service. While food stores are chosen more on the basis of their proximity and long
term association, with merchandise and service contributing secondarily to enhanced utility, consumer
durables stores are chosen based on merchandise and personal referrals, with ambience affecting their
choice slightly. Stores dealing in apparel, books and music are chosen purely on ambience.
Ailawadi and Keller 2004 stated that location of a hypermarket / store and the distance that a
customer must travel to shop are the basic criteria in store decisions. A convenient location is one of
the most important attributes which determines the customers consideration for a retail store. After
this, other factors like price, image, and service and product assortment determine whether a
consumer will actually shop at the store.
White 2008 has detailed that the customer and their lifestyles have changed, and accordingly
shopping centers are changing to continue to attract consumers. Entertainment centers, entertainment
and destination venues, once of little significance to shopping centers and malls, are now growing in
importance as an essential part of the mix, since in order to attract todays consumer, goods alone
dont work.
Chebat, Hedhliand Sirgy, 2009 Ooi and Sim 2007 in their research study carried out on nine
Singapore malls to examine the draw of cinemas on malls where it was found that the presence of a
cinema was the 5th ranked important reason for choosing a particular mall to visit after proximity,
variety of tenants, management and promotions and complementary services such as banking and
food court. 72% of customers interviewed felt that the presence of a cinema would entice them to visit
a mall more often. Around 25% said that they were at the mall to see a movie. The researchers
concluded that cinemas do function as an attractor by increasing mall traffic (footfalls) and the sales
of other mall stores.
Kuruvilla, Joshi and Shah (2009) explored that there is gender differences in mall shopping attitude
and behaviour. The study suggested that, women have a more positive attitude to mall shopping and
that they purchase fashion related categories more often than men. While most men and women spend
24 hours on an average at the malls, men reported spending more time and visiting more frequently.
Malls seem to be popular destinations to purchase clothes, footwear and accessories for both men and
women. Footwear and accessories seem to be popular purchases.
Devgan and Kaur (2010) mentioned six factors, which is crucial for the success of any shopping mall.
They were value for money, customer delight, information security, credibility, and store charisma
and product excellence. They explicated that the modern day customers lay more emphasis on value
for money; however, almost equal weightage is given to comfort and enjoyment while shopping from

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malls. But simultaneously, customers also care for factors like personal information security and
payment security.
Ranjan 2010 in his research studied the purchase behavior of middle class consumers in retail outlets
and malls. He commented that the successful organised retail chains and malls in the India operate at
regional segments and are not aiming at the nationwide presence, for short span of time. According to
him, in order to reach all classes of the society in India, organised retail formats should design a
comprehensive and prospective business model which offers the quality product / services at
affordable prices and generate more socially balanced business.
III Objectives of the study:

(i)

To study the Shopping malls in Madurai city

(ii)

To study the consumer behavior towards shopping mall

(iii)

To suggest measures for the Management of mall in an effective and efficient manner

IV Methodology:

A self administered questionnaire was constructed to measure the behavior of the consumer
who visited the mall. A Sample of 100 respondents were selected using convenient sampling
in the Vishal De mall, Chokkikulam area of Madurai city between 6:00 pm 7:30 pm; as
this was considered as the most busy time when most genuine bunch of customers visit the
malls. The questionnaire is divided into three parts. Part I employed questions to measure
demographic details of the respondents. Part II of the questionnaire used questions to capture
the shopping behavior of the respondents (e.g. frequency of shopping, time taken for
shopping in the mall, etc.).Part III aimed at measuring the respondents reactions towards the
management of various facilities in the mall such as Infrastructure, Traffic and Ambience.
Each question was measured using a five point Likert scale, which ranged 1 to 5, where 1 in
the response means strongly disagree while 5 means strongly agree.
Shopping Malls in Madurai:
Vishal De Mall: Vishaal de Mal is a shopping mall in the city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. It is
the first large format mall in southern Tamil Nadu and it is the city's, first integrated multiutility mall, located in the heart of the city. The Rs.75 crores project, which took more than
two years to complete, is spread over 230,000 square feet (21,000 m2). The mall features a
10,000 square feet (930 m2) play area with games like dashing car and bowling. It has an
exclusive 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) food court, which includes Caf Coffee Day and
Pizza Hut apart from the traditional south Indian Mummy'z Kitchen and others.
Milan'em Mall is a shopping mall in K.K. Nagar, Madurai, India. It was opened on 28th September
2009 and is the first shopping mall in Madurai. Built in a half acre site, the mall has five floors with a
total area of 90,000 sq.ft.The mall has three movie theaters with a total capacity of 500 seats. The mall
has a food court in the third floor along with water zorbing for kids. The atrium of the mall is used to
host cultural events

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V Analysis and Findings:


Demographic Profile of the respondents (Table I)
The frequency and percentage on the Demographic profile of the respondents is shown in Table I.
There were 68 percent of male respondents and 32 percent of female respondents in the sample.
Majority of the respondents was found to be in the age group 21-30 years (56 %), respondents of age
groups less than 20 years (39 %) and 41-50 years (2 %) respectively. Unmarried respondents were
found to be more as in the sample accounting for nearly 82 % and married respondents were 18% of
the total sample. Regarding the educational level, graduates were the most recurring with 57%
followed by Post-Graduation level respondents 21%. Percentage of Matriculates included in the
sample was 18% whereas only four respondents were Doctorates. According to the statistics in terms
of monthly income illustrated that major proportion of respondents were earning a monthly income
ranging below 10,000 INR (38%) followed by respondents who specified that had a monthly income
of 10,000-20,000 INR accounting for 36% of the total sample, others who followed had 20,00030,000 INR (15%), and above 30,000 INR (11%). About the occupation of the respondents, the
statistics revealed that 26 % of respondents were service professionals, 58% were students, 11% were
self-employed and a considerably low percent of respondents with 5%, fell under the category of
Others (for example, Retired, Housewives etc).
Shopping Behavior (Table II)
Table II indicates the shopping behavior of the respondents included in the sample. The given table
tells that majority of the respondents (39%) spend about two to three hours for shopping purpose
while 32% of respondents spent more than three hours for shopping purpose. A very less percent of
respondents (12%) spent less than an hour for shopping.
In terms of number of stores visited, 38% of respondents were found to be visiting 4-6 stores while
shopping, followed by 33 % visiting 7-9 stores, a good set of respondents (24%), who visit more than
9 stores for their shopping purpose. A considerably low percent of respondents were found to visit 1-3
stores. In terms of number of times visiting the shopping mall, the result indicates that only 2 % of
respondents visited the malls on a daily basis whereas about 30% of respondents visited the malls on
weekends. 28% of were found to be visiting the malls at least once in a month whereas majority of
respondents (36%) were observed to visit the malls only when need arises. With respect to the
purpose of visit to the mall, Majority of the respondents (39%) visited the mall to have Food and
beverages whereas the purpose of visit to buy consumer durable is only 5%. The purpose of visit for
Lifestyle product and Latest clothing and fashion is 21% and 19% respectively.
Customer reaction towards Facilities in shopping mall (Jones Lang LaSalle Study) India (Table III)
Ambience: Mall interior design, Fountain, Lighting, Music
Infrastructure: Power, Safety emergency, Water, Sanitation
Traffic: Parking, Crowd management, Spatial distribution of tenants, Managing foot traffic
Table I:
Demographic profile
Gender
Male
Female
Total

Frequency

Percentage

68
32

68
32

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Age(years)
Below 20
21-30
31-40
41-50
Above 51

39
56
2
2
1

39
56
2
2
1

Marital Status
Married
Unmarried

18
82

18
82

Educational Qualification
Matriculate
UG
PG
Doctorate

18
57
21
4

18
57
21
4

Monthly Income (Rs.)


Below 10,000
10000-20000
20000-30000
Above 30000

38
36
15
11

38
36
15
11

Occupation
Service
Student
Self employed
Others

26
58
11
5

26
58
11
5
Table II:

Average time spent


Less than 1 hour
1-2 hour
2-3 hour
More than 3 hours

Frequency
12
17
39
32

Percentage
12
17
39
32

Number of stores visited


1-3
4-6
7-9
More than 9

5
38
33
24

5
38
33
24

Frequency of visit
Daily
Weekends
Monthly
Whenever need arises

2
34
28
36

2
34
28
36

Purpose of visit

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Food and Beverages


Music and Entertainment
Lifestyle product
Latest fashion and clothing
Choose gift
Consumer durable

39
9
21
19
7
5

39
9
21
19
7
5

Table III:
Ambience
Mall Interior design
Fountain
Lighting
Music
Infrastructure
Power
Safety
Water
Sanitation
Traffic
Parking
Crowd management
Spatial distribution of
tenants/retailers
Managing foot traffic

Below
20(yrs)
4.6
2.1
4.2
4.7

21-30

31-40

41-50

Mean

P value*

3.5
2.5
4.6
3.2

Above
51
3.6
2.3
3.0
2.7

4.5
2.4
4.1
4.2

4.1
2.6
4.5
3.6

4.06
2.38
4.08
3.68

0.05
0.11
0.47
0.12

4.0
4.2
3.2
3.5

4.1
4.6
3.6
3.2

4.8
4.2
3.2
3.7

4.6
4.1
4.1
3.6

4.1
4.0
3.2
3.1

4.32
4.22
3.46
3.42

0.05
0.15
0.10
0.06

2.8
3.2
4.1

3.7
3.4
4.3

3.8
3.5
4.2

3.6
3.4
3.7

3.5
3.2
3.5

3.48
3.38
3.76

0.45
0.18
0.08

3.2

3.1

2.9

3.0

3.2

3.08

0.12

*0.05 significance level


Age groups of the respondents visiting the mall were analyzed with respect to the facilities in
the mall like ambience, infrastructure and traffic. The different age groups of the customers
were categorized as below 20, 21-30,31-40,41-50, above 51 years. Table III shows one way
ANOVA for 12 parameters under each category of facilities in the mall like ambience,
infrastructure and traffic. It was found that 2 items vary significantly between different age
groups. It was suggested that Fountain facility was perceived to be managed in poor manner.
From the results, it is inferred that facilities like water, sanitation, parking, crowd
management, need to be managed further. Interior design of the mall, safety, power
management is managed well.
Hypothesis: (chi square test)
H0: There is no difference between gender of the respondents and purpose of visit to the mall
Ha: There is significant difference between gender of the respondents and purpose of visit to the mall
Chi square value = 5.71,Critical value(0.05) =11.07, Therefore accept the null hypothesis
Hypothesis (chi square test):
H0: There is no difference between age of the respondents and purpose of visit to the mall
Ha: There is significant difference between age of the respondents and purpose of visit to the mall
Chisquare value = 50.9,Critical value(0.05) =31.41, Therefore accept the null hypothesis

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VI Conclusion:
As Madurai city is entering into mall culture and many more malls are likely to come up, there will be
stiff competition between malls in the future. Therefore, managing a mall will be more challenging.
Mall owners need to understand the mindset of the customers and deliver products and services
catering to the needs of customers belonging to various groups. Ambience, Traffic, Infrastructure
determines the facilities of any mall, as facility management integrates people, place, process and
technology in a mall. Hence malls need to ensure that good ambience and traffic is maintained.
Further infrastructure needs to be improved to enhance the performance of the mall. Malls not only
cater to the product needs of the customers, but also a source of entertainment, recreation. It is high
time that mall owners need to come up with an USP to create visibility in the mall to get desired
footfalls. Mall can take up Promotional activities like Food festivals, exhibitions, film promotions, to
keep the interest of the people high according to the tastes of the consumer.
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