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UK retailing through the looking glass

Peter Jones (The Business School, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK)
Daphne Comfort (The Business School, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK)
David Hillier (Centre for Public Science, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, UK)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 6 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to offer an outline of, and commentary on, Retail Futures published by Forum for the Future in September 2007.


The paper begins with a brief description of the factors identified as being likely to drive future retail change, outlines each of the four scenarios depicting how the retail sector could look in 2022 and the implications for sustainable development and then offers some general reflections on these scenarios.


In reflecting on the scenarios, the paper focuses on four sets of issues namely the difficulties involved in constructing retail futures; doubts about retailers' current and future commitment to sustainable development; debates about the role of retailers vis‐à‐vis customers in driving retail change; and a discussion of the seemingly limited role and impact of planning policy and legislation on the future of retailing.


The paper offers an accessible review of possible future scenarios for retailing in the UK and as such provides a platform for the discussion of such futures amongst academics, students, planners and those working in the retail sector of the economy.



Jones, P., Comfort, D. and Hillier, D. (2008), "UK retailing through the looking glass", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 36 No. 7, pp. 564-570.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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