This study evaluates how various shopper types (as measured by an updated hedonic shopping motivation scale) perceive and react to different shopping center events. This will enable center managers to use events to influence frequencies among desired shopper types and contribute to the existing retail event research.

The research on retail events is pretty scarce and there is a lack of studies that investigate the effectiveness of such events (Parsons, 2003). In studies like “Assessing the effectiveness of shopping mall promotions“ (Parsons, 2003) the overall ranking of events is analyzed but it is not clear what is the shopper type behind the ranking choice and on what reasons the ranking was based. Also the influence of marketing events on the attitude of the retail brand was examined, e.g. in “Shopping events, shopping enjoyment, and consumers’ attitudes toward retail brands – An empirical examination”  (Leischnig, Schwertfeger, & Geigenmueller, 2011). As a result the study of Leischnig et al shows that with a certain event image such outcomes like a customer’s satisfaction with an event the retail key performance indicators can be influenced. 

This study researches in more detail whether the shopping center sales and frequencies can be influenced by an appropriate event mix, since the challenges of the modern world require more sophisticated management tools for shopping center managers. On the basis of an established hedonic shopping motivation scale, new shopper types are created which include in addition to established types the variables “expenditure behavior” and “event preference”. This enables a more efficient event use and contributes to the existing retail event research.

In order to test the applicability and validity of the measurement scale of the hedonic shopping motives established by Arnold et al (Arnold & Reynolds, 2003), the authors conducted a survey (in German) which was adopted to the German shopping center context. 

The matrix with the shopper profile, event preference and expenditure behavior enhances the understanding of how the manager lever shopping center events can be used effectively in order to manipulate both the quantity and quality of the visitors, e.g. in terms of the tenant’s sales or in terms of visitor’s frequencies. For example the event preferences of the cluster of shoppers with high expenditures during the last shopping center visit can be analyzed carefully and considered in the event planning of a mall.