A Study of Preferences for Traditional and Modern Shopping Environments in Bangkok, Thailand:
Traditional market shopping environments (see Figure 1) have long been an important part of Thai culture, meeting the economic, social, and psychological needs of Thai people. However, the introduction of western-style shopping environments, a result of the globalizing economy, has begun to change this. New, large-scale, commercial developments, especially shopping malls, are being developed primarily in modern-western styles, which have little relationship to native culture or traditions. The modern shopping environments have been successful economically. Traditional shopping environments are being replaced by westernized malls, resulting in a loss of cultural identity. Because of the size of these modern shopping malls and amount of land needed they require, they are typically developed along the city edge contributing to the problem of urban sprawl. In order to meet the needs of Thai shoppers, while at the same time preserving Thai culture and heritage, architects and planners must understand the preferences and attitudes of Thai shoppers toward different types of shopping environments. The purpose of this study is to identify attitudes and preferences of Thai shoppers toward shopping environments, both traditional markets as well as the newer westernized shopping centers.