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Small Retailers in Small Towns: An Explorative Study on Shopping Behaviour for Improving Social Sustainability in an Urban Centre

In: Managing Sustainability


  • Gabriele Qualizza

    (University of Trieste)

  • Patrizia Luca

    (University of Trieste)


Nomadism and social sustainability are becoming central phenomena in understanding the new shopping models. Small local shops are a key space in the life of neighbourhoods, both in terms of what happens in them and their relationship with other spaces in which daily life takes place. They are, therefore, fundamental spaces for socialising and supporting the community, with a view to social sustainability. Urban areas and physical shops have changed radically in recent years. We aim to contribute to the knowledge of the urban retailing context from the perspective of social sustainability, especially as regards the quality of life. The lack of research on the issues of social sustainability of retailing and, more generally, of urban community social sustainability is widely highlighted. This is a gap that this study aims to fill, introducing through field research on a historic town centre the consideration that every visit to an urban centre—for shopping or other purposes—can be read in terms of a social sustainability experience. The knowledge of various shopping profiles could help to develop platforms of opportunities based on communities of place in a socially sustainable perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriele Qualizza & Patrizia Luca, 2022. "Small Retailers in Small Towns: An Explorative Study on Shopping Behaviour for Improving Social Sustainability in an Urban Centre," International Series in Advanced Management Studies, in: Beatrice Luceri & Elisa Martinelli (ed.), Managing Sustainability, pages 111-130, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:isichp:978-3-031-12027-5_7
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-12027-5_7

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