Retailers are facing conflicting strategic variables as they enter the next decade; horizontal versus vertical diversification; high street versus greenfield out‐of‐town siting; own label versus branded goods; staff cost reductions versus loyalty and commitment of service staff. This article looks at these strategic choices in the context of the UK grocery retail sector, drawing comparisons with retail banking. It concludes that the industry is likely to consolidate market share by acquisition; that overseas diversification is unlikely; that “superstore” development will slow or stop; but that stores will expand product lines, particularly in non‐food items.
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