Free Manipulation of Time and Space Essay Sample
One of the ways that malls manage to encourage the visitors to consume is by manipulating the space and the way they spend their time. In this particular field trip, one of the most obvious manipulations to time and space is the way the shops in the malls are designed and their orientation to each other. For instance, the food court is strategically placed just next to the movie theatre. This is a strategic arrangement, because people going to the movies are likely to pass by the food court and thus spend some time there before the movie starts. As they are waiting there, they are likely to spend some of their money to buy some fast food. A closer look at the menu shows how the food court has taken advantage of this. The menus are very simplistic with only food like fries and chicken wing that are excessively overpriced.
The other time space manipulation can be seen in the way the movie theatre in the mall is placed. The theatre is at the top floor of the mall. While it can be argued that the theatre has to be at the highest floor in order to create a good environment for the theatre (less noise and interruptions), it is also clear that it has a way of time-space manipulation. People who go to the movie theatre are those, who in general may have extra dollars to spend. By placing the movie theatre at the highest floor, the people going to the movie theatre have to pass through all the other floors (and shops) and thus be tempted to buy even later. This is very true considering that the mall does not have any closed elevators but only open elevators that allow the users to view everything around them as they navigate up and down the mall.
The supermarket is at the very base of the mall. With regard to encouraging consumption, this is very effective in two ways. One way is that most people will visit the mall with the main aim to visit the supermarket, because supermarkets have most of the goods. It is estimated that an average supermarket has over 47,000 products on its shelves. This means that a greater percent of the people will be going to the supermarket, because there is a high probability that the supermarket has the product they are looking for. The other way that keeps the supermarket at the first floor is effective in encouraging consumption is that the psychological condition of the people, who visit the supermarket, is vital in determining the consumption attitudes of the buyers. For instance, if a person goes to the supermarket on an empty stomach, he or she is likely to buy much more, because the psychological effect of an empty stomach pushes them to think they need more and more. As a result, such a person is likely to spend more than he or she intended to spend. With regard to this shopping mall, the food court is placed away from the supermarket. This is a very effective space manipulation in order to make sure the visitors of the supermarket are in their consumption mode and leave behind in the supermarket as many of their dollars as possible.
There is a very clear sign of McDonaldization in this mall. The mall is designed for efficiency and ease of access to the products. A good example is the food court that takes almost a whole floor in this wide mall. The food court provides a very easy way to access food easily both for those working at the mall and those visiting the mall. The standard meal here is basically processed fast food such as burgers, fries and the like. Instead of a restaurant, the food court is an amalgam of the main fast food manufacturers and restaurants, each of them having a kiosk and all of them sharing one big hall with tables and chairs the customers can order from their favourite food restaurant or manufacturer. By having a food court in the shopping mall, the mall achieves the four tenets of McDonaldization.
The food court affords the consumers a way to sooth their hunger. The customers can order a much-customized meal and get it within no time. This makes it easier for the customers to choose eating the fast food rather than having to go and prepare food in their own homes.
The food court offers a way that the customer knows how much he or she is spending on the meal. Each menu that constitutes to a meal has its own individual price. This means that the buyer can easily know how much he or she is spending on the meals as well as be able to reduce or increase his or her spending on a meal by refraining from some menu items or adding some items to the meal.
With regard to Mcdonaldization, predictability refers to the fact that the consumer can be sure to get exactly the same product and service regardless of where he or she is. The mall has been able to achieve this with regard to most of its shops. Over ninety percent of the shops in these malls are shops belonging to mainstream vender and companies. These include cloth lines, fashion shops and bookshops. The food court is probably the best illustrations of this. The food court, as already explained, is an amalgam of all the major fast food restaurants. With this kind of a setting, the consumer is able to come to this food court, get the exact product from the exact restaurant he wishes, and, therefore, get the exact service. This is much more convenient for the consumers than, if each restaurant had their separate shops in the mall. It also means that, if two people with different loyalties to different fast food sellers want to meet, each of them can get their favourite meal from their favourite restaurants without, yet they are sitting at the same table.
There is a lot of control achieved through technology as well as organization. Almost all shops in the mall have uniformed trained employees. Even in the food court where space is shared among many companies (restaurants), the employees of each firm are uniformed making it easier to identify employees of each company. Technology is also used well to achieve this. A standard example is the ATMs that offer the buyers an automated access to their money. The food court also has automated vending machines for some of their products such as coffee and soda and other beverages.
The Feeling I got
Spending time at the mall is a great experience, the place is filled with space effects that create sort of euphoria that makes one feel rich and forget the rest of the world exists. I imagine that this kind of a feeling is very successful in making people forget they have other financial obligations and thus spend their money much more generously once they come here. The easy access to money here tells it all. Each shop accepts credit cards and for those, who do not use credit cards, each corner in the mall has ATM machines and banks are all over to make sure no excuse will be given.
I was able to respond the temptation to buy at the time, probably because I did not carry money or any access to money such as credit cards or debit cards. However, I can say that the mall is well designed to send messages of consumption because there are some products I saw and felt I should come back for them later.