Geografie 2012, 117, 21-32

The Birth of the Czech Mall Enthusiast: The Transition of Shopping Habits From Utilitarian to Leisure Shopping

Jana Spilková

Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Dpt. of Social Geography and Regional Development, Albertov 6, 128 43, Praha 2, Czechia

Received December 2010
Accepted June 2011

During the 1990s, shopping habits and consumer behavior underwent many important changes in Czechia. Consumers started to prefer large retail outlets and shopping malls, and began to shop less frequently. Shopping has become not only an act of utilitarian economic exchange, but also a leisure activity. This article introduces the results of a pilot study aimed at mapping the volume of leisure shopping within Czech society. The majority of respondents visit shopping malls regularly and three main groups of shoppers may be constructed, based on analysis of the survey responses: (i) mall enthusiasts, (ii) indifferent mall goers, and (iii) mall opposers. On the whole, Czech consumers have quickly accepted the characteristics and trends of developed economies along with “western” models of shopping. However, shopping does not present a legitimate alternative to traditional leisure activities.


The article is based on research undertaken within research project no. MSM 0021620831 “Geographical Systems and Risk Processes in the Context of Global Changes and European Integration”, sponsored by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, project No. 205/08/P190 and project No. 404/12/0470 sponsored by the Czech Science Foundation.


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