Retail restructuring and consumer choice 1: long term local changes in consumer behaviour : Portsmouth 1980-2002

Ian Clarke, Alan Hallsworth, Peter Jackson, Ronan J. De Kervenoael, Rossana Perez Del Aguila, Malcolm Kirkup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last two decades fundamental changes have taken place in the global supply and local structure of provision of British food retailing. Consumer lifestyles have also changed markedly. Despite some important studies of local interactions between new retail developments and consumers, we argue in this paper that there is a critical need to gauge the cumulative effects of these changes on consumer behaviour over longer periods. In this, the first of two papers, we present the main findings of a study of the effects of long-term retail change on consumers at the local level. We provide in this paper an overview of the changing geography of retail provision and patterns of consumption at the local level. We contextualise the Portsmouth study area as a locality that typifies national changes in retail provision and consumer lifestyles; outline the main findings of two large-scale surveys of food shopping behaviour carried out in 1980 and 2002; and reveal the impacts of retail restructuring on consumer behaviour. We focus in particular on choice between stores at the local level and end by problematising our understanding of how consumers experience choice, emphasising the need for qualitative research. This issue is then dealt with in our complementary second paper, which explores choice within stores and how this relates to the broader spatial context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-46
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Clarke I., Hallsworth A., Jackson P., de Kervenoael R., del Aguila R P., Kirkup M., 2006. The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Environment and Planning A, 38, 1, 25 – 46, 2006, doi: 10.1068/a37207.


  • global supply
  • local structure
  • provision
  • British food retailing
  • consumer lifestyles
  • consumer behaviour


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