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Managing town centres during crisis: From retail-focused management to the experience economy and beyond

Managing town centres during crisis: From retail-focused management to the experience economy and beyond

Coca-Stefaniak, Andres and Carroll, Shanaaz (2014) Managing town centres during crisis: From retail-focused management to the experience economy and beyond. Technical Report. ESRC & University of Southampton, London, UK.

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Abstract

The effect of the global economic downturn of 2008 on town and city centres in the UK - and much of the western world -has been swift, enduring and a major challenge to accepted wisdom in the management of town centres. Not surprisingly, issues such as economic resilience and its reincarnations in the form of future proofing or even town centre performance have grown in popularity as trending topics of debate among academics, practitioners and policy makers. Yet, although on the surface these may be valid issues for contention, they often fail to address the root of the problem – many town centres are anchored in the past in terms of their service offer and strategic positioning. The marketing of town centres as shopping destinations is nothing new but, unfortunately, it is also a paradigm that in many cases has seen little change since the 1980s.

A growing body of research argues that consumers’ expectations today go well beyond the functionality that town centres can provide in terms of their retail offer. Instead, it is the quality of the overall town centre experience that is becoming key to visitor engagement, satisfaction and local resident loyalty. The advent of what was contentedly coined in 1999 as the experience economy has manifested itself since in the growth of the evening and night-time economy, with an estimated worth of £66 billion and remarkable levels of resilience during the economic downturn. However, none of this success materialised by chance. Professionals in the hospitality sector - largely responsible for the service offer of the evening and night time economy - have long understood the importance of anticipating consumer trends and offering carefully designed services focusing on the customer experience. Today, this approach is actively recognised, supported and exported overseas by Europe’s first area-based evening and night time economy management accreditation system – Purple Flag.

Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Additional Information: ISBN 9780854329809
Uncontrolled Keywords: Town centre management, economic development, place management, place branding
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:32
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/13298

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