‘The decentralisation of retailing and other services has had a major impact on urban areas.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement? (40)

Topics: Shopping mall, City, Retailing Pages: 3 (1482 words) Published: April 15, 2014
In the 1950s and 1960s shops selling high-order goods, like furniture and jewellery, were in the town and city centres, which attracted customers from a wide catchment area. Shops selling low-order goods, like food, were located in the local neighbourhoods. However, this traditional shopping pattern began to change in the 1970s, when shops like supermarkets and DIY stores began to move to the outskirts of towns by decentralisation. Although it is obvious that the decentralisation of retailing and other services has had a major impact on urban areas, the impacts have been negative, positive or neutral. There are a number of reasons for the growth in out of town retailing. Firstly, increased car ownership has meant that many more people drive to the shops. Out of town retail complexes are often located close to a motorway, so they are easy to access, and they usually have fewer problems with congestion than town centres. Also, the price of parking in town and city centres is increasing, whereas parking in out of town retail complexes is usually free, which encourages people to shop there. Moving on from this, the use of cars and home freezers also means people can do one weekly shop as opposed to only buying what they can carry home and use immediately. This means people are more likely to shop at out of town retail complexes and supermarkets, where they can park outside and get everything they need under one roof. In addition to this, increased road building, particularly of motorways and bypasses, makes out of town shopping centres easy to access and attracts customers from further away because driving on these roads reduces travel times and expenses. Furthermore, it’s not just shops that have moved to out of town retail parks. Many large retail centres also offer services such as bowling, cinemas and restaurants. This helps to attract more customers by making a trip to a shopping centre more of a family activity. Finally, it is a lot cheaper to build retail...
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