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Publications & media

 

British High Streets: from Crisis to Recovery? A Comprehensive Review of the Evidence

Neil Wrigley & Dionysia Lambiri, University of Southampton (March 2015)

With additional contributions from: Gaynor Astbury, Les Dolega, Cathy Hart, Christine Reeves, Mark Thurstain-Goodwin and Steve Wood

In one of the most exhaustive evidence reviews into high streets, town centres and consumer habits ever conducted in Britain, researchers at the University of Southampton have highlighted that seismic shifts in consumer behaviour, combined with significant technological innovations, are having a deep and profound impact on the evolution of UK high streets.

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and commissioned by the Government’s advisory group The Future High Streets Forum, this report comes at a time when radical shifts in consumer culture and practices are becoming increasingly apparent and widely discussed in public debate on what is changing UK town centres and high streets.

This review offers an important resource for many groups with stakes in British town centres and high streets. It reflects the fact that reversing the decline of Britain’s high streets can only be achieved through research and informed discussion and by harnessing the goodwill and common purpose which has recently been displayed by the many stakeholders in the retail, hospitality, property and leisure sectors in working together to understand and address those challenges.

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Evolving High Streets: Resilience and Reinvention - Perspectives from Social Science

Edited by Neil Wrigley & Erin Brookes, University of Southampton (November 2014)

Preface by Huw Williams, Director CgMs Ltd. London
Postscript by Mary Portas

This collection of opinion pieces brings together the views of a dozen academics and practitioners who have expert knowledge of the issues which must be addressed to understand the evolution of town centres and high streets in the digital era. It forms part of a wider study of the UK’s evolving town centres and high streets in the post-global economic crisis era supported by ESRC.

The collection provides insight into the capacity of these vital commercial and community spaces to renew and regenerate. The opinion pieces aim to be thought provoking and will challenge and engage readers from industry, government, and academia alike.

 

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD THE COLLECTION OF OPINION PIECES

 

 


  

High Street Performance and Evolution: A Brief Guide to the Evidence

Neil Wrigley & Dionysia Lambiri, University of Southampton (July 2014)

British town centres and high streets have undergone dramatic change over the last decade. Few would dispute the combined impact of long-term shifts in policy, demographics and transport with the medium and shorter-term impacts of online retail and the shockwave of economic crisis on our high streets. But for those charged with understanding these changes more fully and coming up with effective responses, hard evidence is not always easy to come by. Partly because some of these effects are very recent, and partly given changes to the types of data collected, our anecdotal awareness of urban change is not consistently underpinned by reliable information.

Recognising this need, the Future High Streets Forum co-commissioned with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) a study of the available evidence base, led by Southampton University and funded by the ESRC. This report reviews what robust evidence is available on the trends impacting high streets and town centres, and provides a guide to how those trends have changed, and will continue to change, those vital commercial and social spaces.

 

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF EVIDENCE GUIDE

 


Other peer reviewed articles & reports published by the RIBEN CBC

2014

Newing, A., Clarke, G. and Clarke, M. (2014). Exploring small area demand for grocery retailers in tourist areas. Tourism Economics.

2013

Newing, A., Clarke, G. and Clarke, M. (2013a). Visitor expenditure estimation for grocery store location planning: A case study of Cornwall. International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research - DOI:10.1080/09593969.2012.759612.

Newing, A., Clarke, G. and Clarke, M. (2013b). Identifying seasonal variations in store-level visitor grocery demand. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 41(6): 477-492.

Reynolds, J. and Cuthbertson, R. (2013) The State of UK Retail Places: ESRC Report. Swindon: ESRC

Wrigley, N. (2013), Towards a Policy Engaged Retail Geography, in Advances in Commercial Geography: methods and applications. Carlos Garrocho Rangel (Ed)Zinacantepec, Estado de México: El Colegio Mexiquense. ISBN: 978-607-7761-49-5.

Wrigley, N. and Lowe M. (2013), Retail Therapy, Opinion piece in Britain in 2013, Economic and Social Research Council - p.41.

2012

Hastings, T. (2012) ‘Small is Beautiful’: The social and economic importance of convenience stores. Report on the research project conducted in by ACS and the University of Oxford's Said Business School (KTP).

Norman, P., Marshall, A., Thompson, C., Williamson, L. and Rees, P. (2012) Estimating detailed distributions from grouped socio-demographic data: ‘get me started in’ curve fitting using nonlinear regression, Journal of Population Research, 29 (2): 173-198.

Thompson, C., Clarke, G., Clarke, M. and Stillwell, J. (2012) Modelling the future opportunities for deep discount food retailing in the UK, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 22 (2): 143-170.

Wrigley, N., Li, J. and K. Cudworth (2012), The Impact of Small Format In-Centre Foodstores on Small Towns. Academic Report, University of Southampton. Available at: http://www.riben.org.uk/report/

2011

Hastings, T. (2011), Re-asserting a sense of place: the community role of small shops. Briefing prepared for ACS based on research project conducted by ACS and the University of Oxford's Said Business School (KTP).

Hastings, T. (2011), Who is in charge and what does it matter? The impact of ownership structure on convenience store performance. Report on the research project conducted in by ACS and the University of Oxford's Said Business School (KTP).

Wrigley N, Dolega L, (2011). Resilience, fragility, and adaptation: new evidence on the performance of UK high streets during global economic crisis and its policy implications" Environment and Planning A 43(10): 2337 – 2363.

Wrigley, N., Li, J. Cudworth K., Lambiri, D. and M. Lowe (2011), Romsey Town Centre Study. Academic report for Test Valley Borough Council, University of Southampton.

2010

Thompson, C., Stillwell, J. and Clarke, M. (2010) Understanding and validating Acxiom’s Research Opinion Poll data, Working Paper 10/6, University of Leeds, Leeds.

Thompson, C. Stillwell, J. and Clarke, M. (2010b) The changing grocery market in Yorkshire and Humber, The Yorkshire and Humber Regional Review, Winter, pp.12-14.

Wrigley, N. Lambiri, D. and K. Cudworth (2010), Revisiting the Impact of Large Foodstores on Market Towns and District Centres. Academic Report, University of Southampton. Available at: http://www.riben.org.uk/report/

Wrigley, N., Cudworth, K. and D. Lambiri (2010), Further evidence on linked trips and foodstore developments, Town and Country Planning (4), 187-193.

2009

Wrigley N, Branson J, Murdock A, Clarke G, (2009), "Extending the Competition Commission’s findings on entry and exit of small stores in British high streets: implications for competition and planning policy" Environment and Planning A 41(9) 2063 – 2085

Wrigley, N. Lambiri, D. and K. Cudworth (2009), Linked trips and town centre viability, Town and Country Planning (78), 433-438.

 

Selected presentations by RIBEN Cluster members

2013

Estimating seasonal visitor demand for use in retail location modelling- Colloquium on Spatial Analysis, Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, DENMARK, January 2013 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Estimating Tourist Demand in Retail Location Models- ESRC RIBEN Student Showcase Event, SAÏD Business School, Oxford, UK, January 2013 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Exploring the spatial dynamics of UK convenience retailing: The emergence of major grocery retailers into the market- 53rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), Palermo, ITALY, August 2013 (presented by Nicholas Hood).

How did we get where we are today? Complex structural change and independent retailing- British Independent Retailers Association Annual Conference 2013 (invited keynote speaker: Prof Jonathan Reynolds).

Market Factors & Business Opportunities in International Convenience Retailing- Association of Convenience Stores Global Summit 2013, Birmingham, UK (invited keynote speaker: Prof Jonathan Reynolds).

Modelling non-residential demand for store location planning - a case study of visitor grocery expenditure in Cornwall- GISRUK, University of Liverpool, UK, April 2013 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Progress in modelling non-residential (tourist) demand for store location planning- IGU Applied GIS and Spatial Modelling Conference, Leeds, UK, June 2013 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Progress in modelling small-area tourist demand for retail location planning- 53rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), Palermo, ITALY, August 2013 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Ready Made Garments, Bangladesh Garment Industry- Ethical Fashion Workshop 2013 Ethical Fashion Futures: Changing Habits in Retail, Southampton, UK (presented by Eleanor Tighe).

Resilience of retail centers within a recession: the UK experience – 11th Congress of the Greek Section of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), Patra, GREECE, June 2013 (presented by Dr Dionysia Lambiri).

Retailer/HEI Collaborative project case study: The Impact of Large Foodstores on Market Towns and District Centres. Retail & the Research Base event – Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), London, UK, March 2013 (presented by Prof Neil Wrigley).

Saving the Town Centre - Putting the High Streets at the Heart of Recovery– Politeia Think Tank Round Table meeting, London, UK, July 2013 (invited speaker: Prof Neil Wrigley).

The ESRC RIBEN Cluster ‘engagement model’- Retail & the Research Base event – Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), London, UK,  March 2013 (presented by Dr Dionysia Lambiri).

The ESRC Retail Industry Business Engagement Network: Evolution and Reflections- ESRC National Summit Conference for the Research Capacity Building Clusters, Aston University, Birmingham, UK , June 2013 (presented by Prof Martin Clarke).

UK high streets terminal decline or evolutionary reconfiguration- 53rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), Palermo, ITALY, August 2013 (presented by Dr Les Dolega).

Vintage Fashion as Elitist Second-Hand Clothing?- Ethical Fashion Workshop 2013 Ethical Fashion Futures: Changing Habits in Retail, Southampton, UK (presented by Emma Waight).

2012

A Manifesto for High Street Bookselling- Academic Professional Booksellers & Publishers’ Conference, University of Warwick, UK, 2012 (invited keynote speaker: Prof Jonathan Reynolds).

A Vision of the Future of Retailing- Association of Convenience Stores Summit 2012 (invited keynote speaker: Prof Jonathan Reynolds).

Exploring small-area demand for grocery retailers in tourist areas- 19th International Conference on Recent Advances in Retailing and Services Science (organised by EIRASS), Vienna, AUSTRIA, July 2012 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Grocery Spending and Store Location during a Recession: An Analysis of Changing Consumer Behaviour and Interaction Patterns - European Institute for Retailing and Services Studies, Vienna, AUSTRIA July 2012 (presented by Chris Thompson).

Grocery Spending and Store Location during a Recession: An Analysis of Changing Consumer Behaviour and Interaction Patterns- European Regional Science, Bratislava, SLOVAKIA August 2012 (presented by Chris Thompson).

Modelling regional and local tourist spend for store location planning - 36th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Regional Science Association International, Wollongong, AUSTRALIA, December 2012 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

New generation C-stores, small towns & the high street crisis-All-Party Parliamentary Group meeting on Town Centres, House of Commons, London UK, November 2012 (invited speaker: Prof Neil Wrigley).

Resilience, fragility, and adaptation – insights from the performance of UK high streets during economic crisis and austerity- 1st ESRC RIBEN High Street Futures Expert Scoping Panel Workshop, London, UK (presented byDr Les Dolega)

Sustaining the vitality and viability of town centres- 1st ESRC RIBEN High Street Futures Expert Scoping Panel Workshop, London, UK (presented byDr Dionysia Lambiri).

Understanding and Validating Acxiom’s Research Opinion Poll Data for Social Science Research in Post-census Britain - International Geographic Conference, Cologne, GERMANY, August 2012 (presented by Chris Thompson).

Using GIS for Supermarket Site Location - Estimating the impact of tourism- Geographical Association, Staffordshire University, Stoke on Trent, UK, March 2012 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Visitor expenditure estimation for grocery store location planning- 52nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), Bratislava, SLOVAKIA, August 2012 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Visitor expenditure estimation for grocery store location planning- 32nd International Geographical Congress, Cologne, GERMANY, August 2012 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

2011

Engaged Business Research: the example of retail research at Oxford - ESRC/AIM Researcher Development Initiative conference (invited keynote speaker: Prof Jonathan Reynolds).

Estimating seasonal variations in UK food spend- 'Reporting Research' session at the Geographical Association's 2011 Annual Conference, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, April 2011 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Estimating tourist demand in retail location models- 17th European Colloquium on Quantitative and Theoretical Geography (ECQTG), Harokopio University, Athens, Greece, September 2011 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Estimating tourist demand in retail location models- 51st Congress of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, SPAIN, 30th August - 2nd September 2011 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Estimating tourist demand in retail location models- Presentation delivered to MSc Geography students at Ningbo Normal University, Ningbo, CHINA, December 2011 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Examining the determinants of linked shopping trips - 51th Congress of the European Regional Science Association, Barcelona, SPAIN, August 2011 (Special Session: Retail and local and regional development. Organiser and presenter: Dr Dionysia Lambiri). 

Exploring the geography of e-commerce in the UK and investigating the implications for food retail store location research- European Regional Science, Barcelona, SPAIN, September 2011(presented by Chris Thompson).

Exploring the geography of e-commerce in the UK and investigating the implications for food retail store location research- European Colloquium Quantitative Geography, Athens, GREECE (presented by Chris Thompson).

Initial approaches to estimate tourist demand in retail locationmodels - 3rd Conference of the International Association for Tourism Economics (IATE), Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK, July 2011 (presented by Dr Andrew Newing).

Romsey Town Centre Study – Presentation for the Test Valley Chamber of Commerce, Romsey, UK, October 2011 (presented by Katherine Cudworth & Prof Michelle Lowe).

Romsey Town Centre Study – Presentation for the Romsey Forum, Romsey, UK, November 2011 (presented by Katherine Cudworth & Prof Michelle Lowe).

The ESRC RIBEN CBC- Presentation to the Danish Retail Consortium, Copenhagen, DENMARK, April, 2011 (presented by Prof Martin Clarke).

The Road Map to the New Europe- Greek Marketing Academy (ELAM) Conference, Athens, GREECE June 2011 (invited speaker: Prof Neil Wrigley).

UK Retailing: Challenges and Choices  - UK Forecourt Retailing conference (invited keynote speaker: Prof Jonathan Reynolds).

2010

Modelling the opportunities for deep discounting in Great Britain- North American Regional Science, Denver, USA, November 2010 (presented by Chris Thompson).

New evidence on the impact of foodstore development on UK market towns and district centres- IGU Conference, Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation, Groningen, THE NETHERLANDS, July 2010 (invited speaker/presenter: Dr Dionysia Lambiri).

Revisiting the impact of large foodstores on market towns and district centres - British Property Federation 'Supporting economic growth through planning reform' Seminar, London, UK, December 2010 (presented by Prof Neil Wrigley).

The differential impact of corporate food retailers on market towns of England– 50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy, Jönköping, SWEDEN, August 2010 (presented by Dr Dionysia Lambiri).

2009

ESRC RIBEN– Presentation on the RIBEN CBC to the Society for Location Analysis, Location Analysis and New Economic Realities London, UK November 2009 (presented by Prof Martin Clarke).

Linked trips and town centre vitality: what relocation of an ‘out-of-centre’ foodstore to ‘edge of centre’ tells us– 49th Congress of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), Territorial Cohesion of Europe and Integrative Planning, Lodz, POLAND, August 2009, (presented by Dr Dionysia Lambiri).

 

Media articles/ features involving RIBEN Cluster members

1.       BBC Radio 4 The Report– 19 May 2011 : Tesco Riots in Bristol (RIBEN Director Prof Neil Wrigley talks about supermarket developments and community impacts based on RIBEN Cluster research)  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0112yds#synopsis

2.      Financial Times - 4 June 2013: UK high streets to lose 5,000 shops in the next 5 years (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/eced567c-cc65-11e2-bb22-00144feab7de.html#axzz2VzqawpEc

3.      The Independent – 4 June 2013: Manicure mania: The business that nailed the beauty boom (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds)   http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/news/manicure-mania-the-business-that-nailed-the-beauty-boom-8644642.html

4.      Internet Retailing – 4 June 2013: The growing influence of online and multichannel retailing (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds) http://internetretailing.net/2013/06/moving-inexorably-towards-online-and-multichannel-retail/

5.      My Hermes – 5 June 2013: Online 'fuelling high street evolution' (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds) http://news.myhermes.co.uk/online-fuelling-high-street-evolution-1000008817.news

6.      Planning Resource – 4 June 2013: Report highlights increase in payday lenders on high street (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds) http://www.planningresource.co.uk/news/1184925/report-highlights-increase-payday-lenders-high-street/

7.      Drapers – 5 June 2013: Better research needed to inform high street strategy (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds) http://www.drapersonline.com/news/better-research-needed-to-inform-high-street-strategy/5049753.article

8.      Daily Mail – 2 June 2013: Just a short back and sides: How Beckham and R-Patz are leading the trend for men going to the barbers rather than expensive salons (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2334651/David-Beckham-Robert-Pattinson-lead-trend-men-going-barbers.html

9.      Retail Week – 28 May 2013: Comment: What next for the landscape of our towns and cities? (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds) http://www.retail-week.com/comment/comment-what-next-for-the-landscape-of-our-towns-and-cities/5049266.article

10.  Radio: Call You and Yours, BBC Radio 4 – 4 June 2013, 12:34 (29.47 on the clock) (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0213yfz

11.  Radio: Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland – 4 June 2013, 06:04 (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds)

12.  Radio: David Prever, BBC Radio Oxford – 4 June 2013, 17:10 Dr Reynolds from the Oxford Institute of Retail Management at Oxford University is interviewed about his research, which examines retail diversity in the UK high streets over the last 30 years. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0198k7c  (1:09 on the clock)

13.  Radio: BBC Radio Sussex, Neil Pringle –4 June 2013, 06:03. New research by the Local Data Company and the University of Oxford has revealed the importance of diversity in the survival of British high streets. The researchers analysed how town centres have changed over the last 30 years.

14.  South Wales Evening Post – 5 June 2013:  Swansea fails to make top 50 in league table of Britain's best shopping centres (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds)

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Swansea-fails-make-50-league-table-Britain-s-best/story-19191286-detail/story.html#axzz2Vzpqxnuq

15.  South Wales Evening Post – 11 June 2013:  Clarks steps up to revamp its Swansea store (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds) http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Clarks-steps-revamp-Swansea-store/story-19250487-detail/story.html#axzz2Vzpqxnuq

16.   Scunthorpe Telegraph – 5 June 2013: Hull one of top 30 destinations for retail in UK (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds) http://www.thisisscunthorpe.co.uk/Hull-30-destinations-retail-UK/story-19191269-detail/story.html#axzz2Vzq8EsM4

17.  Brighton & Hove News – 4 June 2013: Brighton and Hove offers shoppers a better mix, say researchers (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds)

http://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2013/06/04/brighton-and-hove-offers-shoppers-a-better-mix-say-researchers/21714

18.  The Business Desk – 4 June 2013: Birmingham's retail offering 'patchy' but restaurant scene is best outside London claims new study (RIBEN KEO. PI: Prof Jonathan Reynolds) http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/475570-birmingham-s-retail-offering-patchy-but-restaurant-scene-is-best-outside-london-claims-new-study.html?news_section=19011

19.  ITV – 26 April 2013: Dhaka collapse raises questions on where we get our clothes (article by RIBEN Case award student Ellie Tighe regarding Plaza factory collapse) http://www.itv.com/news/2013-04-26/dhaka-collapse-raises-questions-on-where-we-get-our-clothes-from/

20.  The Grocer – 6 October 2012: Decimating or Benefiting? (Opinion piece by ex- director of BRC, Kevin Hawkins on Southampton project funded by TESCO Plc. PI: Prof Neil Wrigley) http://www.riben.org.uk/Current_&_recently_completed_projects/grocer.pdf

21.    Society Now (ESRC)– Autumn 2012, Issue 14 (p. 12): Retail Revolution (article on the impact of the work of the RIBEN Cluster) http://www.riben.org.uk/Current_&_recently_completed_projects/Society_now_Nov2012.pdf

22.  CBRE– 11 February 2013: CBRE hosts University of Southampton - ESRC Conference (Press release on the ESRC RIBEN High Street Futures Conference) http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/cbre/pressreleases/cbre-hosts-university-of-southampton-esrc-conference-835847

23.  Britain in 2013 (ESRC) – Retail Therapy (p.41) – opinion piece on town centres by Neil Wrigley and Michelle Lowe.

24.  News release, University of Southampton ‘Study provides new evidence on the impacts of supermarket development on market towns and district centres’ – 2 December 2010 http://www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2010/dec/10_129.shtml

25.  New Boundaries, University of Southampton, Future of UK high streets, October 2013 Issue (Interview - RIBEN Directors Michelle Lowe and Neil Wrigley) http://www.southampton.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgstudy/programmes/NB_magazine_June_2013.pdf