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Local resistance to larger retailers: the example of market towns and the food superstore in the UK

Alan G. Hallsworth (Alan G. Hallsworth is Professor of Geography at Staffordshire University, Stoke‐on‐Trent, UK.)
Steve Worthington (Steve Worthington is Professor of Marketing at Staffordshire University Business School, Stoke‐on‐Trent, UK.)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 1 May 2000

Abstract

One important arena for the study of the impact of larger retailers is, in the UK, the market town. This paper shows how locational policies of larger retailers – akin to WalMart openings in the US Midwest – are affecting these traditional towns in rural areas. The paper takes a case study approach by examining the pioneering fightback using the local loyalty card first adopted by Leominster in Herefordshire. Through time it emerges that the community has not been able to sustain its trading opposition to a large format intruder. However, its successes are noted – and study is made of copycat schemes in the UK. A paradox emerges: the most cohesive smaller communities with many independent retailers lack the resources to maintain the fight. Larger settlements can and do support more viable card schemes: but these towns (and cities) having greater populations are themselves already dominated by larger retailers.

Keywords

Citation

Hallsworth, A.G. and Worthington, S. (2000), "Local resistance to larger retailers: the example of market towns and the food superstore in the UK", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 28 No. 4/5, pp. 207-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550010319959

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MCB UP Ltd

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