This article seeks to present Polish achievements where research on the subject of shopping centres is concerned. The Polish research in this sphere is found to be both interdisciplinary and located within the sphere of interest of economists, sociologists, urban planners and geographers, among others. It is often therefore hard to determine which studies can be considered geographical. Are these ones dealt with by geographers, though often drawing upon the research of other academic disciplines? Or studies led by other researchers, but incorporating a geographical context? The subject of the development of modern commercial spaces (supermarkets, hypermarkets, discount stores, shopping centres, etc.) only appeared in the academic studies of Polish geography in the late 1990s, i.e. the time during which shops representing parts of foreign chainstores began to develop rapidly on the Polish market. In the Polish literature on shopping centres, the issues discussed most often concern the introduction of foreign investments into Poland, location (and relevant location factors), impacts on the functional and spatial structure of cities and urban renewal processes in what are mainly post-industrial areas, methods of spending free time, and the role and appropriation of public space. It is clear that the issue has not yet been exhausted, and that many challenges remain for the scientists, including geographers, who are willing to face them. One of the author’s tasks is therefore to inspire and encourage geographers to explore further these new spaces that have appeared and are continuing to appear, not only within the functional and spatial structures of cities, but also in suburban areas.
Agnieszka Rochmińska, Faculty of Geographical Sciences University of Łódź Kopcińskiego 41, 90-142 Łódź: Poland