Soweto makes up 43% of the City of Johannesburg’s population, and up until 2005 it only made up 3% of the city’s retail floor space. As a result, the intensity at which retail facilities have mushroomed in the last four years has raised questions whether all retailers who have invested in Soweto will succeed given the existing perceptions about the Soweto shopper and doing business in Soweto. The aim of this qualitative study was therefore to explore factors driving store patronage and cross-shopping in Soweto because the evolution of store formats and the resulting cross-shopping behaviour have received limited attention in literature. Interviews with shoppers from Soweto were conducted in the process and the results showed that an increasing number of Sowetans are actually shopping in Soweto. The study ultimately makes the following conclusions: Factors driving store patronage in Soweto are competitive prices, the atmosphere in the stores, demographic variables, and retailer reputation. Cross-shopping is driven by limited product assortments, ‘out-of-stock’ situations, value-maximising behaviour and the convenience orientation of consumers.