Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The future of the High Street

19.04.2005


Recent financial results by major players in the UK grocery industry seem to point to the ever-increasing consolidation of grocery retailing on the UK High Street, but is this actually in the consumer’s interest, and is it what the consumer really wants? Dr Alan Hallsworth of the University of Surrey School of Management has been looking at trends in UK grocery retailing in the UK for over 25 years and comments, ‘ consumers display ambivalent attitudes towards retail change. There is a residual fondness for the corner shop and most hope it will still be there should they need it. However, modern car-dependent shopping behaviour works against small shop survival. What we want for the long term may not survive our behaviour in the short term.’



In 2000, in a ruling by the Competition Commission, it was implied that there are actually two distinct and separate markets; major retailers in which people tend to do their main weekly shop; and convenience stores or traditional corner shops and high street stores. The underlying assumption was that the two sectors did not take trade from each other. The ramifications of this ruling mean that while the major supermarket chains may now find it very difficult to buy each other out, they can still increase their market share by buying out convenience store chains. This was the case when Tesco was unable to purchase Safeway due to competition rules, but later was able to buy out independent retail chain T and S (better known as One Stop).

A further issue raised by the ruling means that if any of the major multiple grocery retailers were now to get into financial difficulty, they would most likely be bought by foreign companies as their UK competitors would, in most cases, be barred from doing so because of monopolistic concerns.


Other changes also favour the trend towards the homogenisation of the high street. The introduction of Sunday trading puts smaller retailers with limited staff at a disadvantage against larger retail outlets. The purchasing power of large multiples is well-known, but the fact that they also have their own supply chains can also adversely affect the competitiveness of not only smaller retailers but also of independent suppliers such as NISA.

Since the 1970s the UK high street has seen many changes. The choice of retail outlet fascias available has decreased but the convenience to the shopper, range of choice and price of product may be argued to have risen. If we look to the future of the high street in ten years time the question that needs to be asked is: If the public as a consumer abandons community shops in favour of the convenience of the larger retail outlets, how will this affect long-term consumer choice. Dr Hallsworth comments, ‘ we are in what is known as a social trap. If local provision is to survive, local people will have to support local shops. At the moment many of us are relying on our neighbour to keep the local shop alive.’

Stuart Miller | alfa
Further information:
http://www.surrey.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Polymers Based on Boron?

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered

18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>