After traveling to one of Krakow’s busiest shopping malls, Galeria Krakowska, today we were immersed in another shopping center. Located just twenty minutes south of the Galeria, Bonarka City Center has proven to be one of the “prides of Krakow” in the industrial scene due to its exponential growth.
In just fifteen months it has nearly doubled in size and has attracted a plethora of clientele. With improvements made to the local bus system leading to the shopping mall, it is now more accessible to the public. This is in part why the year-over-year value of the property is record breaking and predicted to only go up from this point on. While there, our group focused on the consumer experiences of those present, particularly the 45+ age group.
Although some minor and others more obvious, we noticed several things pertaining to the age set. One benefit to this group was Bonarka’s layout. Stores were categorized and sectioned off based on targeted markets. With high-end jewelry, fur coats, and other specialty products in a close proximity, sporting wear, children’s clothes, and other “younger” apparel was in another. Next, this age group was highly product driven as opposed to the younger generations who were present on more of a social basis. Not even taking their jackets off in an overheated mall, it was apparent that shoppers of this set were to the point and sought to be in and out.
Finally, their need for efficiency was aided by Bonarka’s large store displays. With the walls of stores most entirely made of glass, displays clearly notified shoppers of not only what goods were available but also how much they cost. This is different to what we’ve become accustomed to in America: fancy displays designed to draw the customer into the store before weighing the good’s price. In entering the store we become more susceptible to the lure of salespeople, discounts, and other enticements.
These points are in contrast to our experience in Glaeria Krakowska. There the 45+ age group consisted of more business professionals. The majority carried their briefcases along their side and many were seen meeting other professionals for lunch. In addition, the overall consumer experience was more limited for the age group. Aside from there being a significantly younger crowd, Galeria did not serve as a “one stop shop” like Bonarka. One could potentially go into Bonarka needing everything from home goods, to toothpaste, and a Swiss watch and accomplish the task.
Aside from observing the consumer experience, we kept and eye out for advertisements relating to our group’s focus of sporting equipment and health club memberships. For the first time on our trip, advertisements were readily noticeable. First we noticed multiple advertisements in and around the mall itself and additionally, personal handouts and flyers were given to shoppers that pertained a separate, nearby fitness club.
With a few remaining days in Krakow before our departure to Warsaw, we are anxious to see what awaits us!