Marks & Spencer's decision to go out of town is one of the most significant in the retail sector in recent years, but so far little research has been done into its implications. In July 1987 Marks were granted planning permission to put up a shopping complex at Sprucefield, on the southern edge of the Belfast conurbation, and trading will probably start in December 1988. A survey into this development, of both retailers and consumers, was carried out by the Department of Marketing at the University of Ulster. The favourable views of shoppers were perhaps not all that surprising — but the support of retailers is contrary to received wisdom.
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