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Investigating the Theory Tesco Dominates Shopping Patterns in Purley

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On Wednesday 24th of September, my class and I had to go down Purley centre and conclude whether Tesco dominates shopping patterns in Purley between the time of 1:20 and 2:05. We were put into groups in order to carry out surveys about other people’s opinion and record data such as land use and local traffic in Purley. Due to technical error the questionnaire’s results are not adding up to 100%. We particularly recorded data on these following roads: Brighton road, Godstone, and High Street. The roads are shown on the map bellow, each colour arrows links to the coloured road name above.

The following results represent the results of the traffic survey that one of my groups had to collect. These results were recorded between the times of 1:20pm and 2:05pm and took place in a range of different roads; such as: Brighton road to Croydon, Brighton road from Croydon, High street, Godstone Road from Caterham and Godstone road to Caterham. The purpose of this survey was to total the number of vehicles that used the above roads. As the different graph shows, there are many different type of vehicle recorded in this survey, cars, buses, Lorries vans and bikes. I decided to produce different graphs for each case, as it will be easier to compare results one to another and could be analysed more precisely.

The above bar chart is the first graph that I am going to analyse. It represents the number of vehicles that went through Brighton road to Croydon. As the graph shows, the common type of vehicle that went through this road is the car as 81 cars were travelling between the times of 1:20pm to 2:05pm. The bus service is quite rare as only 3 buses occurred in 45 minutes time so it could mean that people tend to drive their own cars in order to get to the A road more rapidly. There are 17 Lorries/ vans travelling roughly every 45minutes, so it could mean that these roads are used more for shops to obtain their good through Lorries and vans.

As the over graph shows, there is approximately the same number of cars (80 cars) that are travelling in Brighton from Croydon. The number of vehicles is all approximately the same apart from the bus as there is a slight increase of number of buses in Brighton road from Croydon. 1 bike was recorded from Brighton road to Croydon but two bikes are recorded in Brighton from Croydon, sixteen lorries &vans are registered but about the same amount went from Brighton road to Croydon.

The above bar chart represents the number of vehicles that travelled in high street. High street has a total number of 52 cars that travelled through. This road has the lowest amount of cars and could mean that it has fewer shops or business that attracts other people from different areas.

All type of vehicles has been travelling form Godstone road to Caterham. The highest number of vehicle that occurred the most are the cars, 180 cars used Godstone road to Caterham. About 10 buses travelled through which could mean that bus transports are really common in this road. Lorries and vans were also recorded, 25 of this vehicle travelled in average time of 45 minutes which could mean that there might be that transports to other shops may be taking place.

Godstone road from Caterham is a busy road as approximately 140 cars travelled. The numbers of cars are the highest form of vehicle recorded in this road and could mean that more people travel there for business or for the facilities it has. No bikes were recorded during the survey, this could mean that the road is a busy area and people often come for shopping and bikes are not used to carry shopping.

Once displayed the graphs in their separate case, I decided to make a direct comparison of the results by making a bar graph.

These results can help me to decide which of these roads are the most used and what type of people would go there. High street has the lowest number of vehicles so it could mean that the road may not contain many attractive shops or does not have any major business centre. Godstone road to Caterham has the highest number of cars compare to all the other roads, Godstone road to and from Caterham has the highest number of cars and lorries/vans. This could mean that Godstone road contains many shops and maybe business as this road leads to M25, which gives access to many people in and out of the town. Tesco is also located in Godstone road as this can be another cause why the road is busy.

A hierarchy order of shopping is the level where shops can be placed based on the service they provide their customers with. The hierarchy order goes from the bottom of the hierarchy by the smaller shops that sell low order and convenience good. The top level of hierarchy is the shop that sells high order goods such as furniture or electrical goods. As a shopping place, Purley is classed as a level 2/3-hierarchy order, containing many customers. The bigger the area is the more clients will be attracted and going to come to the place. Purley has a radius of approximately 2kilometers with customers using it on average twice a week, not only the people that live in Purley do the shopping, people from other neighbouring town are also attracted by Purley’s shopping area as one of survey carried out reveals.

Order of goods

Catchments area

Frequency of usage


Corner shop


Very local



Shop cluster


Very local


Neighbourhood shop

Medium- chemists and all basic needs


3 or 4 time a week


District shop

Medium- includes most need

Up to 3km

Twice weekly


Central business

All including high order

Very wide

Up to 20km




All including high order

Very wide up to 40 Km


The above table represents the order of the levels of shopping hierarchy. Purley’s shopping hierarchy is classed a level 2/3, it is shown by the highlighted parts.

There are not only people who live in Purley who are willing to come to Purley Shopping centre, people from neighbouring areas comes as well, such as South Croydon, South Croydon, Coulsdon and Sanderstead. This can be evidence that Purley could attract many other people from different areas to come to Purley for business or even shopping.

To reduce the amount of congestion, Purley has decided to put the system of red route. Red route redlines painted on roads or a board indicating red route as the picture below indicates, can be an advantage for Purley, as it will enormously help to reduce the amount of overcrowding cars around Purley’s roads. However, red route can also be a major disadvantage for local shops such as Good News.

Red route is a cause for the loss of customers to local shops. They loose a number of customers’ everyday as their customers cannot pop in the shop due to no parking places and red route which does not allow them to wait with their vehicles at any time since they risk getting a penalty. Local shops cannot provide parking places unlike Tesco; therefore the clients tend not to take the risk for their vehicle. Loosing customers because of red route also mean that the shops are going to loose money. The disadvantage for all these local shops is a major advantage for Tesco.

The lost customers by the local shops may come and shop in Tesco as they have free parking places and does not have to worry about charges. Tesco Store also owns its free parking, has a number of bus stops in front of it, and owns a 24h shop and its own petrol station. This disadvantage to these local shops could be an advantage for Tesco, as it owns its own parking place. Tesco provides their clientele with free parking, as it owns its substantial parking places.

Tesco provides their customers a free and convenient parking as well as security so people won’t have to worry about their vehicles. Many people that travel by car or any other vehicle can do their shopping in Tesco. It also benefits many customers, not only for the parking they provide but also for the number of bus stops that gives access to the shop. Unlike local shops that not only loose some customers because of the red route but also for bus stop access. Tesco benefit immensely as they own their own parking, have several bus stops near the shop, and has its own petrol station with a Tesco express 24h shop where people can do their shopping at any time.

An estimated 91% of Purley’s local community find supermarkets convenient to shop in as one of the survey carried out exposed. Tesco also provide convenience goods such as general foods, and specialised foods (e.g. butchers). Convenience goods are goods needed by people everyday such as food. This can be classed as one of the disadvantage the local shops have to experience with. Tesco may have the same goods as the local shops but at a lower price, this leads to competition between shops.

There will be more attracted by the lower price so the shops compete between them to attract more customers by convincing them.72% of Tesco’s customers tell us that they shop in Tesco because of the convenience in the shop. As Tesco is the biggest shopping store in Purley, it contains several items that other local shops won’t have, such as different brands of food/drinks, which will obviously attract many people, as they will be able to find what they want. Unlike Tesco, local shops do sell convenience goods but they may not sell as many brands as Tesco does. Clients may find it expensive in local shops so will decide to shop in Tesco where they will find more brands as well as cheaper prices.

Tesco not only sells convenience goods, but is also one of the shops that trade consumer durable and expensive goods; they provide their consumers with more variety of choice of goods that other shops may not provide. Consumer durables are goods that not many shops provides as they are items not always needed so purchased less often. In Purley town centre, there are about 4 furniture shops. Tesco may have a major impact on other furniture/electrical shops and again Tesco and the other shops can be competing for lower prices and products. This could again lead for the other smaller shops to close down because they cannot beat Tesco’s low prices therefore less money is gained.

As you can see from the pie chart, about 91% of the people that took the questionnaire said that they find supermarket convenient to shop in. Only 9% said no, convenience is very important as this results indicates as more than the half agree that supermarket are convenient to shop in.

Tesco can be a cause for affecting all the other shops in several ways and may lead them to close down. Tesco owns its own petrol station, a 24h Tesco express shop and a pharmacy placed inside the store. Tesco’s customers who own a vehicle can benefit from the petrol station. Tesco’s clients won’t have to move out the shop to re-fuel their vehicle; they can do it in Tesco. Other petrol stations in Purley may be in competition with Tesco’s station as the only way they can each attract more clients is by decreasing the fuel’s price. This can again lead other petrol stations to close down, as they will be loosing their business if no customers are present and purchase their fuel, therefore they will loose money. 24h shop can be a very good way to attract customers while they are paying for their fuel. 24h shops are quite rare and can be a positive method to attract more people, as it will be open at any time and people can pop in during the time they are purchasing fuel for their vehicle.

Tesco also has its pharmacy inside the store; this can affect pharmacies in Purley such as Boots, which is also providing the same goods as Tesco. This will lead to both pharmacies to compete by cutting the prices down and make more goods available

Many shops have been closed down due to the poor amount of clients they get. Moben, which is kitchen furniture, may have been closed down because of Tesco as it also provides house furniture. Many other furniture shops and restaurants might decide to close down since the number of clients decreases. ‘Swayam ruchi’ which is an Indian cuisine restaurant was closed at the time the data was recorded which was during lunchtime. These restaurants may soon decide to close down as not enough clients’ visits their store.

This pie chart represents the amount of people who finds whether Tesco is affecting all the local shops out in Purley. As the graph shows, about 93% agreed that Tesco affects the local shops and this might be evidence that some are shops closing down and more people from the community is starting to realise it.

Accessibility is one of the major points that several groups of people use mainly in a store such as Tesco. Tesco is one of the shops that give many facilities to their clients. Tesco provides its client with many facilities for all sorts of people from toddlers to elderly people. It supplies a number of parking places for these groups of people are placed very close to the shop so it will be easier for them to get access to the shop. A good shopping centre or store should not only provide facilities outside the store but also inside it. There should be different type of access such as lifts needed for disabled people and escalators for people carrying shopping and toddlers. Toilets, disables’ toilet and baby’s changing rooms can be very useful for all groups of people. Accessibility is very important in shops as more accessibility could possibly increase the amount of customers.

Large companies such as Tesco mainly uses loyalty card also called ‘club card’. These cards are supplied for the store’s customers where they will be given a discount depending on the amount and the type of product they purchase. The advantage for large companies is that they know that local shops cannot afford this card, as they aren’t as big as stores like Tesco. Tesco has put in the system of ‘club card’ and helps them to increase the percentage of consumers at their store, as it attracts many people because of the discounts gained by the loyalty cards.

A good supermarket should be first placed in a good environment. It should be positioned in a place close to a couple of main roads that could be found by many people without any difficulties. This is important as if the shop is located in a place that is hard to get access to, less people will tend to shop and shop in it. It is also significant for the supermarket to be close to a main road as it will be easier for imports and exports for the superstore.

The product the shop sells is also very important for the shop to be classed as an efficient store. The supermarket should make sure that they have larger ranges of varieties of goods of different brand, as it will be harder for the other smaller shops to beat the number and branches of the goods. The supermarket can gain a high profit through this.

Before placing a supermarket in a town, it is important to see whether the place has faced vandalism in the past or whether it is still struggling and still affecting the area, as they have to make sure that it will not affect the supermarket

It is also important to put in place systems such as CCTV so people who shop in the store will feel in security, therefore more people will tend to come, as they know that security is guaranteed, especially for elderly people and children.

A good supermarket should be kept clean at any time as if it is not hygienic enough the store will be likely to loose several customers. The supermarket should provide toilet facilities and it should be able to accommodate men, women as well as for disable people. Tesco is a good example as it offers those facilities at the entrance of the shop. Stores like Tesco can also benefit by placing cafes and seating places inside the store as it can mean there is a chance of benefiting from it. Clients of the supermarkets possibly will want to take seat therefore there is a chance that they decide to buy food or drink from the caf�. This could increase their profit margin as they provide their customers with several choices of goods and facilities.

Young people tend to be the main clients of supermarkets such as Tesco. Stores like Tesco sells goods at different prices, young people that cannot afford enough money can come and shop there, as they know that they will be able to afford it as they can find any sort of price. Supermarkets are also useful for working families where they can find all type of goods for the whole family. Families mainly use supermarkets for the goods they provide and the variety of choice offered. Cars owners can also benefit from stores like Tesco, as they will always be provided by car parks for all sorts of people, from toddlers to disabled people. These people can have access to the shop much quicker as they will normally find their parking very close to the store. Non-car owners can also benefit from supermarkets as they can also mostly have access to the store by the main roads in most of the case. Bus stops can also be useful for non-car owners, as most of the clients will reach the store by bus.

The first questionnaire is about the effect of Tesco on the local community. Tesco is located in a south of the main shopping areas, on spot of two busy road called Godstone road and Brighton road. People can get access to it very easily since Tesco has its own open car park, petrol stations and near bus stops. The questionnaire’s first question is evidence that shows that most people find supermarket convenient to shop in as 91% agree with it. The first question links with the fifth question where around 5% shop in Tesco because of the price, 72% because of the convenience and 16% because of the selection. Many people use Tesco in Purley, an estimate 90% said yes and a weak 10% said that they do not use Tesco. 1 in 8 pounds spent in store goes to Tesco club card, not only Tesco benefits from it but its customers as well by getting discounts from loyalty cards. This shows that Tesco benefits a lot from many people, as more than 90% uses it. In the 10% that doesn’t use Tesco, finds it ‘ nearer to house’, ‘difficult to get to’ and two people out of 4 found it ‘too big’.

The second questionnaire is used to prove that not only people from Purley shops in Purley centre but also several other people from other areas. Shopping in Purley seems quite important to some people from the community as the second questionnaire discloses. A rough 26% said that they were in Purley for shopping such as shoe repair, Tesco or even for Chicken cottage. There are also other major reasons why some people tend to come such as 44% came in Purley for work and only 7% were present in Purley because they live there. These are evidence that Purley is mostly used by people who work than by people that live there. There are some specific shops where people were coming for in Purley.

The higher result that was recorded was people coming to Purley for shopping in Tesco, 8 people out of 23 was present to shop in Tesco. The post office also seems to occur the most after Tesco, since 4 people were using Purley’s post office. Almost 48% travelled 0 to 2 miles to get to Purley. 26% travelled 3-5 miles, 10% travelled 6 to 8miles and a total of 16% moved more than 9 miles. These are evidence that not only people who lives in Purley travels to get to Purley centre. Purley’s visitors reach the town in different ways such as using the bus, car, bike and train or simply by walking as 19% does. A large amount of people get to Purley by bus as 59% got by bus; this can be used as evidence for the quality of bus service but only a few cars, travelled in Purley’s roads (19%), this can be due to the amount of traffic in Purley. Some public also mentioned a similar percentage reach Purley by trains as 11% used it. Only a few bikes were mentioned as 4% reached Purley by. This could be because people cannot carry their shopping by bike so this question can be again used as evidence that most of the people use Purley for shopping or business. Many people from neighbouring areas also come to Purley as the questionnaire reveals.

The third and last questionnaire was about Purley’s services. There is evidence that Purley consists of several good access as over eight buses were mentioned by 22 people as the questionnaire revealed. The bus that occurred the most was the number ’60’ as 8 people out of 22 used this bus. This can be used as proof that the above bus occurs very often and that most of the people in Purley utilized it.

Only 25% finds Purley shopping centre ‘attractive’. Superstores such as Tesco can be cause for Purley’s community to find their own shopping centre not attractive due to the amount of traffic as 25% says that the road layout ha helped the traffic movement. Tesco can be a cause for these entire bad features as it can be part of the amount of traffic increasing and could also make the area less attractive as it takes quite a lot of space. The last question of this questionnaire shows us what the public want to be improved.

The answers that mostly occurred were the amount of traffic to be reduced, to get a variety of shops, and to get rid of Red route. Again all the answers that were mostly given have something to do with traffic. This is evidence that red route and Tesco can be a cause for traffic as Purley’s community’s answers was about. There are also some people who said that by getting rid of Tesco, Purley could be improved a lot more. These results can be linked with one of the questions in questionnaire one as 93% says that it has been affecting local shops in Purley. These questionnaires is again facts that most of Purley’s population agree to the fact that we should get rid of Tesco and that it is affecting the local shops as well as the amount of traffic.

The function of land and what is used for is called the land use. On the roads where my class and I surveyed for land use we realised that 24 services out of 44 were open. Shops such as ‘Good news’ (local shop), the post office, Purley’s pharmacy and a couple of bank such as Lloyds were open during the visit. However, 4 of the services were remained closed between the time of 1.20pm and 2.10pm where services such as restaurants should be open. ‘Oriental Gardens’ a Chinese cuisine restaurant is one of the restaurants closed during lunchtime. In addition 2 more services were closed down, shops such as ‘Swayam Ruchi’ an Indian restaurant and ‘Moben’ kitchen furniture has been closed down due to the amount of people that visit the shop.

‘Tesco dominates shopping patterns in Purley’, by looking at my evidences, Tesco could be dominating shopping patterns as well as not dominating it. Some people say that it is because of red route that traffic is increasing everyday but some says it is because of Tesco. There are not any final answers using these evidences and shopping patterns can be dominated by other situations such as the amount of business in the town, red route or even because of the amount of transports.

In my point of view I do agree that Tesco dominate shopping patterns in Purley. I agree with 93% members of public who said that Tesco has affected local shops. Tesco has affected all the other shops by first taking a big place and increasing the amount of traffic by the number of customers it is attracting. Although Purley is mostly busy for business, the amount of traffic can also be caused by the number of people who shop there everyday. 70% of the people in the community agree that Tesco has increased the amount of traffic in Purley. Tesco also put in place a number of competitions with a number of shops, which lead to many of them closing down. Tesco tries to sell a number of goods, such as convenient and durable goods in one store and this could affect all the other shops in the area not only getting close down but it will also decrease the amount of people employed in it.

Tesco competing with the other local stores takes many risks taken for Purley, shop closing down due to no customers in their shop, a decrease in employment so less people will live in the area due to no business. Local business that are already affected by red route as they loose many clients everyday because of it will now have to experience the loss of clients because of Tesco as it provide its customers of a number of choices that no other shop will be able to purchase.

If local shops keeps on the area takes closing down a major risk. Another reason for why some people may want Tesco to close down will be due to the amount of business closing down because of Tesco. If Tesco closes down, more business will survive, as they won’t have to be in competition with Tesco. 89% of Purley’s population thinks that Purley is not attractive and would like it to be improved by mainly reducing the amount of traffic, getting rid of Tesco, getting rid of red route system, having more parking places or by even benefiting of better variety of shops. I agree with the public, less traffic will make a massive change for Purley; the only way this can work is by getting rid of red route and Tesco so less people will come to the area for supermarkets like Tesco so less traffic will take place. I hope that they will take into consideration the views of Purley’s residents and public and make Purley a better place.

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