The food superstore revolution:changing times, changing research agendas in the UK


This article considers the changing scope of research into UK food superstores over some three decades. Rather than catalogue changing market shares by format, we seek instead to show how such change links to national policy agendas. Academic research has evolved to address the growing complexities of the social, technological, economic and political impacts of the superstore format. We exemplify this by tracing the progression of retail change in Portsmouth, Hampshire, over 30 years. We discover that academic research can conflict with the preconceptions of some public policy makers. The position is exacerbated by a progressive decline in public information – and a commensurate rise in factual data held by commercial data companies – that leaves policy makers with a choice of which data to believe. This problem casts a shadow over the objectivity of macro-policy as currently formulated. Concerns currently arise because the UK Competition Commission (2006–2009 but ongoing) starts each inquiry afresh with a search for recent data. Furthermore, it has recently called for changes to retail planning – the very arena in which UK superstore research commenced.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Marketing & Strategy
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research on 18 Feb 2010, available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: superstores,long term change,choice,policy,methodology,Business and International Management,Marketing,Economics and Econometrics
Publication ISSN: 1466-4402
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 07:08
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2012 11:36
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
http://www.tand ... 593960903498276 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2010-02
Authors: Hallsworth, Alan
De Kervenoael, Ronan (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-9970-5101)
Elms, Jonathan
Canning, Catherine



Version: Accepted Version

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