The economic and social role of small stores: A review of UK evidence

Ian Clarke, Sunil Banga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

There is considerable concern in the United Kingdom regarding the growing power of supermarkets, a concern that culminated recently in a UK Competition Commission enquiry into the grocery sector. Against this backdrop, some suppliers, independent retailers and societal groups have been critical of the investigation, implying that it did not do justice to the role of small stores in society, and that this issue is insufficiently understood by policy-makers. To address this need, this article reviews and assesses the available UK evidence on the social and economic role of small independent stores and the values that are attached to them by the communities they serve. This is achieved using the Systematic Literature Review methodology. The purpose of the article is to gauge the evidence as a platform for wider debate on how the role of small stores can be maintained and enhanced. The article identifies key themes and gaps in the literature as a basis for identifying research priorities and highlights implications for public policy and planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-237
JournalThe International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research
Issue number2
Early online date20 Apr 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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