The trend towards large scale retailing, both on the continent and in the UK, is leading inexorably towards a polarisation of outlets which is creating signficant gaps in our shopping facilities. In the UK, it is arguable that the rigidity of our planning system is inhibiting the expansion of continental‐type out‐of‐town shopping developments. As we go into the European Community, the divergencies between continental and UK patterns of retailing seem to be widening. These were some of the issues which emerged at the International Retail Conference recently organised by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Zurich. The conference is held every year (chaired by Harry Bohrer) and this was the best‐attended so far. It also had the highest proportion of UK delegates.
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