Hypermarkets and superstores: what do the planning authorities really think?



Sumner J & Davies K (1978) Hypermarkets and superstores: what do the planning authorities really think?. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 6 (4), pp. 8-15.

In recent years a great deal of information has been collected and published (much of it in this journal) on the perpetually contentious issue of the hypermarket and the superstore - their effect on other forms of retailing, their capacity to reduce operating costs and therefore prices, their impact on the consumer. Many generalisations have also been made about the attitudes of local authorities to these large-scale units, and some leading hypermarket operators have made bitter accusations against local authorities for endlessly protracted planning negotiations which inevitably lead to increased construction costs. But little information has been gathered up to now (so far as we know) on the precise attitudes of planning authorities, and little attempt has been made to define the highly variable range of responses which they have expressed over the years. This study by Jennifer Sumner and Keri Davies of St David's University College sets out to throw light on this murky area. The broad trend is one of increasing acceptance of the superstore, but not of the hypermarket. In general the attitude to large-scale retailing developments seems vague and non-committal, with some councils adopting the attitude of "we won't worry about the problem until it arises." But the authors believe that trends are changing and that, with further co-operation between developers and planning authorities, an agreeable compromise could be made.

International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management: Volume 6, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/1978

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Dr Keri Davies

Dr Keri Davies

Senior Lecturer, Marketing & Retail