n Journal of Contemporary Management - Retailing in disadvantaged communities : the outshopping phenomenon revisited

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



This article focuses on the outshopping trend that is evident in the black township areas of South Africa. Previous research ascribed this trend mainly to the lack of planned retail infrastructure in these areas. In view of the massive retail investment that occurred, it was decided to revisit the reasons for this phenomenon.

In the ensuing follow-up study, both exploratory and descriptive research was used to confirm that the previous study had been correct in maintaining that sufficient retail infrastructure should counteract the outshopping problem. What is surprising, however, is that outshopping still occurs among the higher income level consumers and that it is especially the pricier high-ticket items that are bought outside Soweto, the township on which the research focused. The negative impact of outshopping on the continued existence of retailers stocking similar items inside the township is mentioned. The repercussions of the opening of the new retailing infrastructure on the existing retailers are also investigated. It is concluded that outshopping is an international phenomenon that will always occur and that retail management in townships should take note of the impact of outshopping on the store variety in these centres.

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