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1998-09-30
London, England. Impact of Large Stores

The British Department of the Environment, Transport, and the Regions has published a new study that indicates large foodtores sited outside town or commercial centers have cut the market share of principal food retailers by 13% to 50%. The new report shows that out of town superstores "have had a damaging effect on small towns and district centers". According to Richard Caborn, Minister for the Regions, "This research firmly establishes that out of town superstores can seriously damage the health of small towns and district centers. Arguments about clawing back trade and creating jobs simply do not hold water." British officials said the new study provides further justification for the Blair government's policy of concentrating appropriately-sized new supermarkets in existing commercial centers -- and resisting out of center developments. Shopping center sites will be encouraged in town centers, officials explain. The wide variety of services at these superstores, such as dry cleaning, pharmacies and newsagents, means the impact is felt by more than just foodstores in town centers. The report says that even the threat of a super foodstore on the edge of town can adversely affect town center retailer confidence. The study adds that food superstores have, on average, a negative net effect on retail employment. Researchers say that claims the superstore recapture sales leaking to other areas "rarely leads to any tangible benefit to town centers". "Where foodstore proposals are disproportionately large compared with the size of the center, the new store can supplant the role of the center," the study concludes. The report also recommends that large superstores be required to produce an economic and traffic evaluation. The research study took 2 years to complete, and drew on case studies in nine market towns and district centers.

What you can do: The Impact of Large Foodstores on Market Towns and District Centres is published by the Department of the Environment and the Regions by the Stationery Office for a price of 20 pounds sterling (ISBN 0-11-753478-1). For a copy of the press release on the report, email: info@sprawl-busters. com.










 
 
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