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IELTS Essay | Big shopping centres or small shops?

IELTS Writing Test Task 2 Essay

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

Nowadays there is an increasing trend of big shopping centres opening up while small shops are closing down.

What are the advantages or disadvantages of big shopping centres versus small local shops?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.



Big shopping centres opening up while small shops are closing down | IELTS Essay Answer

The emergence of large out-of-town mega-malls has resulted in many smaller local neighborhood stores being forced to close as consumers become accustomed to doing nearly all their shopping in one large convenient location rather than at a selection of smaller specialist outlets in their town center or local community. This trend offers both benefits and drawbacks.

Firstly, the opening of large supermarkets and shopping malls on the outskirts of a town or city drives consumers out of the town center, typically to the suburbs. This has the advantage that the town center is less congested by traffic and the need for parking spaces is reduced. High streets typically become more environmentally friendly and easier for those people who wish to stroll through such areas or visit for other reasons other than shopping. Furthermore, large out-of-town shopping malls offer greater convenience for shoppers; allowing them to visit several retail outlets in one location and quite possibly satisfy all their needs for products such as food, clothes and other consumables.

The major drawback to driving shoppers away from the town center is that traditional local retail outlets such as butchers, bakers and cafes are adversely impacted by this loss of foot traffic in the town center. They also face price pressure as large scale supermarkets and retail outlets often offer more competitive pricing based on their large scale operations. This can lead to the closure of many small neighborhood stores and a degradation of the local community in some cases.

However, smaller specialist shops often provide a service which is more personalized and in some cases offer products not available in the larger retail outlets – in effect they cater more for niche markets than mass consumerism. Therefore, a more diverse range of smaller stores can be found within the town centre than the limited big brand names typically found in large shopping malls. Many smaller shops are also family businesses which have a long history in the community and therefore add value for residents in terms of social cohesion.

Overall, both small stores and large shopping centers offer different benefits to shoppers. Whether a shopper chooses to visit their local neighborhood retail outlets or drive out of town will very much depend on the type of products they want to buy.


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