This was the question asked in a comprehensive study conducted by the City of Copenhagen on the link between shopping and transport mode. The answer is yes!
By Marie Kåstrup, City of Copenhagen
Most shopping trips in Copenhagen are done by bike
The study is based on an online survey conducted in March, 2012, with 3,000 participants who had been shopping in Copenhagen during the last week. Respondents were asked about their overall shopping behaviour throughout the week as well as detailed information on their latest shopping trip for each transport mode used.
When looking at shops and supermarkets at street level (malls excluded), 58% of all shopping trips in Copenhagen are done by cycling or walking. Cycling is the most frequent means of transport for shopping, with 35% of all shopping trips done by bike and only 20% by car.
Cycling customers consume more
In terms of revenue, cycling customers spend a total of 2.05 billion € per year whereas car driving customers spend slightly less, that is 2.04 billion € per year. In total, walking and cycling customers count for 55% of the total revenue of street-level shops and supermarkets in Copenhagen.
Interestingly, cyclists spend less per visit as well as per whole shopping trip than car drivers. The average spending for cyclists is 30€ per visit and 50€ per trip, whereas car drivers spend 60€ per visit and 90€ per trip. The reason cycling customers still generate more revenue than car driving customers is due to the fact that cyclists in general shop more often than car drivers, which in turn compensates for the tendency to spend less per visit.
The ‘Copenhagen’ effect
Another important aspect is the general high level of cycling in the city proper, that is, among local residents. The fact that cycling is already the Copenhageners’ favourite mode of transport evidently increases the share of shopping trips done by bike. This is underlined by the fact that cycling and walking each account for a modal share of 38% of Copenhageners’ shopping trips, summing up to 35 billion shopping trips per year by walking and cycling. On the other hand, almost half of all shopping trips by car are done by persons living outside of Copenhagen coming into town for shopping purposes. On average, Copenhagen residents only use the car for every seventh shopping trip, that is, 15% of all shopping trips.
Parking facilities at the shop
The study suggests that parking facilities can be a barrier to shop by bike. Although 67% of cycling customers were satisfied with the parking conditions at the shop they had shopped at, for those who considered shopping by bike and ended up choosing another mode of transport, 26% say bike parking conditions influenced their decision not to bike. Another survey by the City of Copenhagen shows that Copenhageners’ general satisfaction with cycling parking conditions at shops in Copenhagen is down to 26%. This suggests that cycling customers intentionally seek out shops with better parking conditions, while non-cycling customers may view bike parking as an obstacle.