Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Russell Mucaster

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Previous research has shown that behaviour by consumers is influenced by many interacting factors that motivate each individual in different ways. It is how these factors are perceived and combined by each person that leads to the formation of consumer images of shopping centres. Image is an important criterion in the comprehension of the consumer’s perception of shopping centres. Studies have found that the consumer’s image is related in a systematic way with the measures of social and economic characteristics of the consumer. Occupation and income are two variables that have often been employed by previous researchers to measure a consumer’s socio-economic status. However, other factors such as sex, age, and education should be used in order to obtain a more distinct and complete measure of the consumer’s socio-economic status. This study examines consumers’ images of two shopping centres in the city of Guelph. One centre is Stone Road mall and the other is Willow West mall. Responses were obtained from a sample of consumers through the use of a questionnaire. Each respondent was asked to indicate his feelings or responses to a set of images factors for each mall as well as completing a section related to his socio-economic status. The data were analyzed using a frequency count, the Wilcoxon match-pairs test, factor analysis and a relate technique. It was first determined that consumers have different images of malls. Secondly, further analysis revealed that socio-economic sub-groups of the sample of consumers have different images of shopping centres. It was also shown that the discriminatory socio-economic characteristics differ significantly in their relationship with consumer images. Thus the consumer’s socio-economic status is important in the formation of images of shopping centres.

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