03.CHOICE hits the shopping centres
To explore the various design theories, CHOICE visited four shopping centres in greater Sydney and conducted a few basic navigation and timing tests. We found plenty of disorienting design, as well as centres that take shoppers past as many shops as possible.
Westfield Bondi Junction
This big centre is set across two buildings at slight angles to each other, resulting in off-kilter walkways that skew your sense of direction. Not all levels have the same layout, and some street-level entries are set at an odd angle, adding to the disorientation.
Broadway Shopping Centre
Rather than disorient shoppers, Broadway makes them walk through the entire centre. Most of the anchor stores are located at the opposite end to the main entrance, and away from travelators and lifts, so you have to walk all the way through the centre.
Moore Park Supa Centa
A centre which also makes you walk past lots of shops. JB Hi-Fi is on the top level and quite easy to reach –
there’s an up escalator straight to it. But it’s much harder to leave – with no down escalator nearby you have to walk to the other end of the centre to get out.
Misleading signage sent our shopper in circles. Signs to anchor stores at escalators had arrows pointing up, but at the top of the escalators, the arrows pointed down. It took our shopper three minutes to get to Target from Myer, just eight stores away, when following these signs.