Although shopping villages are becoming more popular, some people wonder why they are out of town, in their own, distinctive settlement area. In fact, there are a number of reasons why shopping villages have become “villages” in their own right, and why these areas are built apart from traditional high street areas.
One of the main reasons that a shopping village may be created is to plug a gap in the market for high-quality, low cost produce. Outlet-style villages are great places for people to visit if they are looking for bargains on all of their favourite ranges. Having a collection of outlet stores which are all in the same area can help customers to find what they need, at low prices, at any time of year, regardless of whether it is the traditional sales season or not.
One of the reasons that outlet shopping villages are able to pass on such great savings to customers is the fact that rent for these shops is usually much lower in an out-of-town shopping space than it would be in the centre of a town or city. Outlets may be priced out of the market if they wanted to set up shop in the city centre, but retailers who open branches in out of town shopping areas are better placed to be able to offer customers lower prices, thanks to their lower rents and rates.
The reason that a shopping village is usually located outside of a traditional settlement is partially for reasons of space. Most town centres do not have enough space to be able to house all of the shops and retailers which would be like to be part of these shopping communities. Creating a new village-style environment, close to another town or city, with the express purpose housing retail establishments, helps to ensure that there is room for all of the shops.
Having a large shopping village just outside of a town allows the area to be accessible to local people, as well as those who are travelling from further afield for a family day out or a day spent bargain hunting. As long as the village has been properly planned and the correct infrastructure put in place, a shopping area which is out of town will be easily accessible to a large number of people, without creating problems for the people of the town. Large shopping malls which are in the centre of a town can create a lot of traffic, pollution and congestion for the people of the town, as well as helping to drive up rent for nearby shops.
A shopping village outside of a small town can help to bring much needed jobs to the local population. Gathering a large number of employers in one area can be a bonus for a town, rather than the curse that some people assume it will be. Those travelling from further afield will also be more likely to spill over into the town itself as part of their visit.