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Rethinking Southampton and town centre futures

Michelle Lowe (School of Management, University of Surrey, Surrey, UK)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 3 July 2007



Designed to update research work carried out in the early 2000s on the development and impacts of Southampton's West Quay retail development on the urban milieu of the city.


Summarises the findings of detailed research work carried out at West Quay over a five year period.


Suggests that developments that have taken place at West Quay have been overwhelmingly positive for the city and that, as such, the Southampton example supports the case for retail‐led urban regeneration.

Practical implications

Southampton's position – as one of the first cities in the UK to embark on a city centre retail‐led regeneration scheme – finds it extremely well‐placed to provide important lessons to other local authorities currently in the process of developing large‐scale retail developments in their city centres.


This paper updates a detailed study of the history and development of the West Quay retail scheme in the city of Southampton. It seeks to draw a series of wider conclusions from the case and is offered in the spirit of generating debate on this issue.



Lowe, M. (2007), "Rethinking Southampton and town centre futures", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 35 No. 8, pp. 639-646.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited