pp 1–22 | Cite as

Cross-border shopping: Just like domestic shopping? A comparative study

  • Susanne Bygvrå


This paper analyses to what extent people from one country visit shopping destinations in a neighbouring country. The analyses are based on data collected by fieldwork in 2014/2015 in the Danish–German, the Belgium–Dutch–German and the Austrian–Hungarian–Slovak border regions. These regions represent different historical conditions and have experienced different time spans with ‘open borders’. The comparisons are based on the registration of cars (N = 17,721) at car parks at the selected venues. To assess the nationality distribution of the cars, the population distribution on each side of the borders and the destination’s location within the urban pattern were included. The analyses were conducted with three levels of distance decay. When comparing the observed shares of cars from the neighbouring country with the theoretical shares, the phenomenon ‘as if no border’ was found for some shopping venues in all the border regions included. However, in most regions there were also examples of venues having a significantly higher or lower share of foreign visitors than expected.


Cross-border shopping Comparative study Europe Shopping destinations 



I want to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their careful reading of the manuscript and for their constructive and valuable comments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declare that they have no competing interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AabenraaDenmark

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