Social World Essay on Discount Retail Mall/stores

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Table of Contents

  • Social World Created by Discount Retail Mall (Tanger) for the People
  • Analysis of Discount Retail Stores Social World on People
  • References

Social World Created by Discount Retail Mall (Tanger) for the People

“I’m going for shopping as there is huge discount and sale going on in the mall” is a common phrase to hear nowadays, especially among the youngsters. The retail store offers a large variety of products on discount attracting a wide spectrum of customers. Discount stores are not a type of variety stores, which sell goods at a single price-point or may be multiples thereof. Discount stores are different from variety stores in that they do sell many name-brand products & because of its wide price range of the items offered and due to this reason Discount stores are very popular rather than non-discounted stores. Some retail stores make strategic and tactic attempts in its formulation or procedure to dominate the retail market where it is having its presence like tanger. Tanger created widespread name recognition and it focused on high customer satisfaction in relation to its brand name and branched itself by doing mergers and acquisitions to new profitable new sectors of retailing. Many companies are in competition of gaining the shopper’s loyalty they end up neglecting other important aspects. A perfect retailer must balance out high-quality, attractive prices, customer loyalty, and an enjoyable environment. Tanger mall has experienced considerable growth in the last few years because its stores offer fashionable merchandise at low prices in a pleasant shopping environment. The Tanger mall offers a range of products in every store it has in Ottawa. The interior of the mall and its stores gives off a fresh feel. The ceilings are short, and the main aisles are wide. Tanger’s theme colors⎯ red and white⎯ are recognized throughout the entire mall. Vibrant colors of advertisements and products for sale fill the space. The numerous fluorescent lights illuminate the air. Inside, a range of people are found. For the most part, all the employees tend to give off a positive energy and are eager to help if needed. The customers come from across the Ottawa. Adults, old and young, adolescents, and children are seen walking down the aisles of varying products. Some shoppers are intently focused on their purpose of being there, while others nonchalantly make their way around. It is not uncommon to see people stopping to chat after seeing a familiar face, politely or rudely asking for someone to move positions, and continuous eye contact implying that Tanger is also an agent of socialization.

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My experience is that, when I went to tanger for the first time it seemed like the perfect place for shopping as I saw discounts all around me. I felt like I am surrounded by discounts and sales. I bought many things from there. When I needed to know about the product, I asked the employees of the store so that I can come to know about the product. The interesting thing about the mall is that we can see number of people and it feels so crowded and all the stores are very busy selling their products. During the weekends the mall is fully filled with customers and most of the people come for shopping. The main thing that attracts people here is this mall also have non-seasonal discounts.

The products for sale aid in trend setting and the development of culture in society. Items such as clothing of home decor products are updated often so that the company can keep up with the popular items and promote change, all while encouraging their customers to spend money to “stay hip.” The store serves many purposes, but, ultimately, it is an agent of cultural evolution and socialization.

Sometimes people are intent on a purpose of being there. Some people are just starting their trip into the store, some are pushing shopping carts or carrying baskets, some are waiting in line to checkout and pay for their items, and some have completed the task and have their shopping bags in their hands. Whatever the reason for those people being at the store is the store serves to society can be seen in a bigger picture. The most common reason shoppers are at Tanger is to gather the basic needs and wants for day-to-day life. The store is a perfectly equipped for providing for needs from clothing to food to house items. Tanger also serves a purpose for being a temporary escape route from life. Some people might be them to take a break from their usual where they can take their mind and put it in another place for a bit. Not to mention, in today’s younger generations’ culture, it is a very popular and trendy place to shop at.

Analysis of Discount Retail Stores Social World on People

Why mainly people prefer shopping on discounts? The quick answer is customers get products which they want for fair price and can fulfill their daily needs. Tanger appeals to all lifestyles. I went for buying winter clothes and few sports stuff, everyone at the mall is there for a different reason and to buy different items. The individuals also have their own struggles they face adding to the complexity of society. The store takes on many roles that contribute to the bigger picture of viewing it as a component of society. Before, I would not have looked at a usual discount retail store as one that would affect the workings of society. I did not recognize it because I viewed the world with my personal societal lenses infiltrated by my interactions and situations. Now, I can put aside personal bias and develop an understanding of the “big picture” of the world surrounding me and numerous details that create small and large changes. The many different factors of socialization that I have come to understand can be explained using the three big sociology theories.

The Functionalist Theory is based off of the idea that all social activity, big and small, have a function to contribute to a larger role in an ever-changing and ever-growing society (Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P Appelbaum and Deborah Carr, p. 18). The represents functionalism with the fact that Tanger is a mall that serves to provide the necessities of life such as food, clothing, lifestyle that a shopper wants. The different stores inside the mall also provides jobs in the workforce as many employees are needed from managers to cashiers to stocking crews to keep the store readily available to serve customers. Thousands of dollars per day flow through all the of stores in the mall. There is a constant demand from citizens for products that the store provides which cycles through the home, public, and back into the homes.

Also, the stresses of day-today life can add up, so some might visit stores with intentions to escape them. It builds an atmosphere where one can idly shop to take a break. Most of the consumers find shopping a nice way to release stress from anything. Either way, whether Tanger is used as need provider or a stress reliever, it contributes to the functioning of society.

George Herbert Mead’s theory of Symbolic Interactionism relayed that the symbols exchanged in human interaction encounters influences behaviors that shape the overall feel of a functioning society. Within everyone’s interaction with other individuals, the symbols which might be through spoken language, body language, or physical objects that dictate the behavior of both people (Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P Appelbaum and Deborah Carr, p. 17-18). Behaviors of the shoppers are conducted by the ideas of what is socially acceptable and what not. In a usually busy public facility, human encounters, whether intentional or not, exercise certain types of behaviors conceived from the regular patterns of behaviors between individuals called social structure (Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P Appelbaum and Deborah Carr, p. 5). Navigating through the store’s crowded aisles as eye contact is made, looks given, and comments exchanged make the premises learning grounds for implementing social behaviors throughout society.

It would be interesting to compare how much of the interaction that takes place in Tanger mall is based off of what is expected socially such as the small talk exchanged between a paying customer and the employees checking them out. Is this behavior learned? Is it done with true intentions? Do the behaviors apply it in other social settings? How do these behaviors affect the larger society? Are the same “appropriate behaviors” in Target expected in other places within the society?

The Social Conflict Theory is the idea Karl Marx termed as the social structure and inequality’s formation of society (Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P Appelbaum and Deborah Carr, p. 19-20). This theory is this one I see applying to most and easily recognizable at the mall. As a frequent shopper, I see Tanger’s prices as average for quality goods. However, looking at mall applying the sociological imagination, I realize that many social order ideas can be and are related with the topic. Tanger promotes class division socially and economically. Can conflicts take place? The answer is yes. The conflict occurs when someone can not go to the store because they have a lack of transportation or are not within a convenient reach of location are not able to shop there. Also, at some point Tanger’s products are overpriced or sell low quality product or not satisfying customers needs can create social division. Yes, the products might appeal to a very large spectrum of people, but if some individuals are not attracted or are not within reach of a store, there becomes a societal issue. Further social research could be done to find out the intentions of those shopping at the store and compare it to the culture of the society. Are people shopping at Target from legitimate intentions or are they doing it to gain social rank status?

There are many different symbols and ideas contrived from this picture that can be applied to the larger society. By using the Sociological Imagination, personal perspectives are put aside to look at how a certain topic or thing plays a part in influencing the bigger picture. Aspects of the bigger picture are related to the three major sociological theories Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism, and Social Conflict Theory. Larger implications of the ideas surrounding the theories and Target could be carried to see if all large discount retail stores serve as basic need providers for those of varying social classes or do, they promote the inequality. Are there deeper reasons for the seemingly promotion of inequality such as those intentionally choosing not to shop there because of value and beliefs that separate them into a different social rank?


  • Introduction to Sociology 11th edition by Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P Appelbaum and Deborah Carr

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