Online Retail and Urban Development

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Project Description

Many city and district centers are currently facing a large number empty storefronts. Online retail has become a strong competitor for brick and mortar shops. An increasing number of customers are staying home and ordering goods from the comfort of their couch. This is having a marked effect on German city centers.

A household survey, conducted by six NRW universities, examined customers' motives for shopping online or in person. The project's investigation focused on the question whether customers' behavior depends on where they live, the attractiveness of the city center, or the type of goods they are shopping for.

The students in Aachen's economic geography Master's program surveyed shoppers in Frankenberger Viertel, Brandt, and Laurensberg between November 28 and December 9.

Joint results were presented to the public in February at the 2017 E-Commerce Day of the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Due to the random sampling, only those individuals could participate in the investigation who were provided with a questionnaire.