Decentralisation of retailing

1950-60's Higer order goods e.g. jewelry were in town centers, lower order goods e.g. food were in local areas.

1970s began to change with the popularisation of supermarkets moving out of town centers 

Why decentralisation occurs:

  • Increased car ownership means easier access and less congestion in city centres 
  • Parking prices are higher in cities 
  • Invention of home freezer meant weekly shops more common 
  • Increased road building e.g. motorways reduce journey time for further away people 
  • Cheaper to buy and build on reclaimed or derelict land e.g. Blue water built on chalk mine
  • Lesuire centres like bowling and cinemas improve out of town shopping experience 
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Impacts on retailing

Imacts on city centers

+Goverment invests money to attract people back to city center such as creating pedestrian zones, reopening shopping malls and creating events

+Congestion and pollution decrease as fewer peope drive to city center to shop 

-The out of town shopping centres force citry center shops to close (outcompeted)

-Buildings left abandoned so unemployment increases and subsequent crime rises as a result 

Impacts on rural urban fringe 

+Create jobs in out of town shopping centres 

+Retail parks are often built on brownfield sites that would otherwise be left empty

+Houses that have asy access may increase in value 

-Construction creates noise, congestion and pollution 


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Trafford centre case study

  • Opened in 1998 near Manchester 
  • Cost £600 million and built on a 150 acre brownfield site 
  • Largest catrchment area of any shopping centre of UK (5.3 million)
  • 30 million people visit each year 

Popular because:

  • A range of activities inc 200 shops, food court, cinema, crazy golf, bowling ect 
  • Well connected as close to m60 
  • Lots of busses go from Manchester to Trafford centre
  • Free parking and traffic control system 
  • Indoors to avoid weather conditions 
  • Long openin hours 
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Impacts on surrounding area

+Supports local charities and community projects 

+Work experience for local students 

+8000 people employed there (recieve childcare and health vouchers)

-Congestion and pollution from many visting cars 

-Bad impacts on surrounding towns 

Management schemes:

  • City centers invest in improving public transport 
  • Plans set up to attract people back to the town centers 
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