The licensed retail market in the UK operates in a dynamic environment, yet one aspect that appears to get little consideration is how spatial location may determine the success of particular business or, influence the appropriate use of an existing licensed premises. This paper suggests that it is possible to develop a model of location that can help to explain the location of licensed premises. Additionally, it explores the type of criteria that should be explicitly considered when establishing a new development or the repackaging of an existing licensed unit. At the outset it should be emphasised that the authors are not trying to explain the location of all licensed premises but a model of intra‐urban location, rooted in economic theory, to try and explain the location of different types of licensed businesses within urban areas. The aim is to develop a model that will explain the observable spatial pattern of licensed premises within the major cities of the UK.
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