Ziwei Zhang


February 2017

Retail Blog Entry #4

A Central Business District (CBD) is defined as a downtown commercial area in large and small cities where many businesses including retailers tend to congregate. Nowadays, CBD has become popular in many cities around the world. Yet, there are still pros and cons to carefully consider of building a CBD in a city.

Businesses within a CBD are consisted of a variety of different types of retail stores including specialty stores, convenience stores, department stores, discount stores, and luxury stores. They locate closely together in order to create a convenient and diversified shopping experience for visitors. From the consumers’ perspective, they will be benefited because of the opportunity to shop at several stores in walking distance from one to another. It will save much time traveling on a bus, subway, car, or by foot if the stores one wants to visit are far away from each other. Accessibility is one of the major components for people to think about while visiting sites. Since a CBD is always located in the downtown area of a city where the private or public transportation can be used, it is attractive for visitors to come and shop. City centre is easier to be reached at from any where in the city than a suburban area. It will not require too much of thinking and hesitation of how to get there. A CBD also has benefits to the store owners. When stores locates closely, they would more likely be a business system to prosper as a group. It could be a domino effect to form a trending ambiance. Additionally, it would be easier for security to take control when managing as a group.

Everything mentioned above sounds like there is no disadvantage of CBDs. However, it is not true. First of all, a CBD is a commercial space that can only be built in the central area of a city so that workers and visitors can easily access by using the private or public transportation. When the city centre is already being popular and full of visitors and tourist, the new CBD would increase the density of that area even more. There would be terrible traffic problems that affect the neighbors’ daily life. Secondly, due to the large amount of people in the transportation conjunction, the possibility of shoplifting would increase. The floating population would become a challenge to police. Safety would be the biggest concern in that area. Lastly, as mentioned above, stores would form a business system to grow together as a whole. The land value would increase. Nevertheless, if several stores did not operate well and closed down after few week or so, it would somewhat damage the atmosphere of the whole CBD. Then it even becomes harder for new stores to replace, because the value of land would be difficult to cover.

Therefore, CBDs have the both advantages and disadvantages to stores and visitors. It really depends on the characteristics a particular city has.



Retail Blog Entry #3

Global expansion is challenging to retailers due to many factors that are not predictable. However, seeking opportunities in foreign markets is still attracting to retailers, even though they would have to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of global expansion.

On the good side of global expansion, for those who have already been in mature domestic markets, retailers need to look at a bigger picture and think about the markets they have not touched before – foreign markets. Ideally speaking, the foreign markets could probably become another potential target market, which could help the retail company increase more sales, profits, and reputation, just as how well they have accomplished in their domestic country. Company could also be beneficial from the lower costs of land and buildings in foreign countries that would decrease their production cost. Moreover, retailers could also take advantage of the lower locally labor cost in countries like China, India, Indonesia, and so on to minimize a portion of production cost.

Nevertheless, on the harmful side of global expansion, there are plenty of international transactions, government regulations, culture, and even politics that might not be favorable to the retail company. It could be totally opposite to the advantages mentioned above. The products retailers are planned to sell in foreign countries might be restricted by foreign laws and regulation. The locals might not be interested in the products because of cultural differences or price differences. That is why the article “The Advantages & Disadvantages of International Franchises” suggests that retailers need to do market research before entering the new market, especially the foreign ones. What’s more, the constantly changing exchange rate would be a financial problem to consider in term of global expansion.

All in all, global expansion is a double-edged sword that has advantages that can increase company size when taking good use of, and disadvantages that can hurt retailers if they do not do their market research before entering internationally.


Retail Blog Entry #2

E commerce is rapidly growing in the 21st century today and mobile commerce is becoming more and more popular. Mobile device is “the fastest growing wireless segment, with technology barely keeping up with demand for more options, services, and products.” Nowadays, people do not use mobile phones only to communicate with others by chatting, texting, or emailing, but also shopping on it. The ones who uses their mobile devices to make purchases online are called mobile shoppers or m-customers.

Demographically speaking, there are slightly more females than males are mobile shoppers, even though “women make the majority of household purchase decisions.” Men use mobile devices to make purchase as well with 44% of the total mobile shoppers by 2013. Mobile shoppers are usually in age groups of 25 to 34, 35 to 44, and lastly, 55 and above. Surprisingly, there is only a small amount of shopper in the group of age from 18 to 24 comparing to other groups. Additionally, Millennials are the strong power of mobile shoppers. “28% of Millennials in the United States indicated that they prefer shopping online using their mobile devices as opposed to computers.” They “make up 26% of the total population and it is no wonder that they are influencing the online shopping trends.” Mobile shoppers are more likely to have higher disposable income.

Speaking of psychographic characteristics, mobile shoppers are appeared to be “more in tune with social networking, and eagerly anticipates the expanding capabilities of his or her cell phone” according to the textbook. They spend a lot of time on socializing on their phone on the daily basis. They prefer searching on the mobile devices rather than computers, including finding out locations, playing games, and mobile shopping. They feel safe using mobile wallet. Also, they are more likely to be tech-drive and more willing to try new products. According to the survey from Scanlife, 24% of consumers “almost always” buy something new and almost 50% of them actually try a new product “sometimes.”



Retail Blog Entry #1

There are three kinds of psychogenic needs, which are affectional, ego-bolstering, and ego-defensive needs, that can help companies to identify consumers’ shopping behavior regarding to what they want.

Below is an example of an advertisement indicating the characteristics of the brand image only with its logo. Stüssy is a global streetwear brand, which has loyal customers all over the world and still keeps attracting more young people due to its not-so-expensive price range and stand-out street style fashion. The advertisement image I picked below is just a random selection among all other similar advertisement Stüssy promoted. From this image, it is clearly to see that the company tends to meet consumers’ ego-bolstering psychogenic needs by receiving attention from others to develop his/her self esteem or desire status because of its eye-catching design. Also, Stüssy wants to meet consumers’ affectional psychogenic needs to form nostalgic relationships between the product and consumers by presenting the vintage way of wearing the product and inspiring potential customers to love who they are and be confident in whatever they are wearing.


Stüssy FW2016 “When in Paris” Campaign (

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