The National Retail Planning Forum has commissioned CB Richard Ellis to undertake a major national research project on the role and vitality of secondary shopping.
The research will aim to identify the reasons why secondary shopping is declining, and to identify examples of where it has succeeded in changing to a new role.
The research is financially supported by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Marks & Spencer and the BCSC Educational Trust. It will also look at secondary shopping as an obstacle to regeneration, possible engines of growth and potential for achieving regeneration.
According to CBRE project director Jonathan Baldock, secondary shopping locations, together with the centres of small satellite and seaside towns, have the potential to provide attractive and sometimes unique shops and services and meet important local needs.
However, he pointed out that all too often that potential is unfulfilled and policy-makers, property owners and occupiers are unable to reverse decline and bring about lasting regeneration to such areas.
The research is expected to take six months and will include case studies drawn up in partnership with local planning authorities.