24 November 2007

Cyclists Are Better Shoppers Than Motorists

Multitasking (by [Zakkaliciousness])
It has come to our attention that in some cities, there is resistance from the community - namely commerce - towards such things as bike lanes and bike infrastructure in general. We see it from time to time in Copenhagen, too.

Back in the 1960's, a radical idea was born. Pedestrianising the city centre. There was very vocal resistance from the shops. There were even cries of "we're not Italians! We don't want to walk around the town!" The car was king.

It happened anyway. The world's longest pedestrian street was born - Strøget - and others followed.

Did commerce suffer? Not at all. On the contrary. Pedestrian and bicycle access without motor vechicles created the ideal shopping concept. Sales increased.
The Daily Haul (by [Zakkaliciousness])
It remains the case to this day, especially with the massive investment in bike infrastructure over the past 40 years, providing even more access to the city and her neighbourhoods for cyclists.

Stats and Studies for use by bike advocates
The idea that ‘vitality of commercial enterprises = access by car’ is really rather old school. Those motorists who arrive at a supermarket or department store are not better customers than those who arrive by bike or with public transport, just because they can carry more goods home in their vehicles.

On the contrary. The contribution made by customers who arrive by public transport, bicycle and on foot is greatly underestimated. Not to mention the negative impact for our towns and cities and for the urban environment of building of large supermarkets and thousands of parking places on the periphery of urban centres.

It turns out that cyclists are better customers in many categories.
Baggage (by [Zakkaliciousness])
A study carried out in Münster, in Germany, reveals a number of newly discovered statistics. The study concerned three large supermarkets and a department store which also sold other goods.

Cyclists purchase smaller quantities each time they go, obviously. Which means, just as obviously, that cyclists go to shops more regularly - 11 times a month on average, as opposed to seven times a month for motorists in Münster - and are thereby more exposed to the temptation that shops love to inflict upon us.

Motorists are in the minority in shops in urban areas - between 25 to 40 % of customers, depending on the day of the week.

Barely 25 % of motorists leave a shop with two or more bags of goods (as opposed to 17 % of cyclists). Therefore, 75% of motorists have nothing to prevent them from using other transport forms. The study concluded that a large number of motorists could do without their cars when shopping, leaving them open to using another mode of transport.

Another study, this time in Berlin, showed a massive increase in cross-neighbourhood movement when they introduced a 30 km/h speed limit for cars, except on major routes. People were simply using their bikes and the public transport to get around and they found themselves more mobile as a result. Up to 40% in some cases, for trips between home and the shops.

Similarly, a survey carried out in Strasbourg indicated more than 30% increase of visits to the shopping area of the city after pedestrianisation and closureto through traffic in the town centre.

A survey carried out among consumers in Bern, Switzerland, established the ratio between the value of purchases made and the parking area used by each customer over a year. The profitability was highest in the case of the cyclists.

€7500 per square metre for cyclists.
€6625 for motorists.

Cyclists increase sales. Period.
Beans (by [Zakkaliciousness])


Anonymous said...

I interviewed Jan Gehl at the first Walk21 conference in London. You can see the interview on Episode 44 of "Perils For Pedestrians" on Google Video at:
John Z Wetmore

Treadly and Me said...

A very interesting post--thanks for that. I'd like to read more about those surveys and stats--can you point me to where I could get more details?

Zakkaliciousness said...

Great, thanks john, for that link. cool film.

hey, treadly, glad you like it. you can find a link to the .pdf of the EU paper "Cycling - the way forward for cities and towns" on this post.

Erik Sandblom said...

Fascinating post! I tipped off another blogger who is a traffic planner. He is actually working on this exact subject! He didn't know about your blog or about the Bern study, but he does now! Knowledge is power!

Sätt buss, gående och cyklister i centrum

Zakkaliciousness said...

glad to hear it. i commented on his post that i have many good traffic planning posts on the blog.

Erik Sandblom said...

Here's another study, this one from Graz, Austria. Merchants believe that over half of shoppers come by car, when in fact only a third of them do.

Streetsblog: A Citywide Prescription for Livable Streets

Erik Sandblom said...

And here's another, from Toronto regarding Bloor Street:

Study finds that removing parking to install bike lanes or widen sidewalk would benefit businesses on Bloor

Erik Sandblom said...

Here's another, from 2004. The Gothenburg merchants' association wants more pedestriansied streets.

Vårt Göteborg: Köpmän hoppas på fler gårdsgator i ny samverkan

Anonymous said...

More from the UK

Bristol: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/assets/files/liveable%20neighbourhoods/Shoppers%20info%20sheet%20-%20LN02.pdf

Leicester and Edinburgh (where the recent closure of Princes Street to build the tram was initially opposed by shop owners who now want it extended) http://www.sustrans.org.uk/assets/files/Info%20sheets/ff39.pdf

Erik Sandblom said...

The studies from Bern and Münster are summarised here, page 20-21.

Cycling: the way ahead for towns and cities (pdf)

Does anyone have a link to the original studies?

Erik Sandblom said...

Svenska Dagbladet: De får handeln att rulla

Smålandsposten: Cyklister viktiga för centrumhandeln

Cyclists account for a third of commercial revenue in central Växjö, a town in Sweden.

Paul said...

Myself, I tend to make 5 to 7 trips per week to the grocery store.. Also, becasue I'm not supporting a hungry, ugly metal box I buy more expensive healthy foods for me...

Erik Sandblom said...

Changing Car Parking to Bike Parking in Melbourne
Average cyclists’ expenditure in Lygon Street is 73% of a car users’, however the space required to park a bike is 12% of the space required to park a car.

Peter said...

Cyclists may be better shoppers than motorists also because less of their income goes to the automotive industry which is essentially a ravinous money pit for all concerned.
For instance the car I presently use had cost its previous owner $25 a day just in depreciation alone. That doesnt include petrol, repairs and servicing.

Erik Sandblom said...

In Göteborg, the urban shopping center Nordstan has 60% higher revenue than the suburban shopping center Frölunda Torg, even though the urban one has 10% fewer parking spots.

Parkeringssituation Göteborg - Yimby GBG