Diversity on the High Street

We found 26 studies that investigated retail diversity. This measures the variety of comparison goods outlets. Many studies identify the importance of ‘tenant mix’ (e.g. Teller & Schnedlitz, 2012). “From the literature there is an underlying feeling that retail diversity is desirable and may benefit town centre vitality and viability” (Findlay and Sparks, 2010).

There is less in the literature about diversity across types of outlet (i.e. non-retail) but some studies investigate linked trips to other types of offer, such as leisure. This represents a range of uses or ‘mixed-use’, with centres being multi-functional rather than mono-functional. These factors along with retail diversity, availability of alternative formats, range/quality of shops, tenant mix, tenant variety, attractions and non-retail offer were investigated further in our HSUK2020 model – and were identified as the 10th strongest influence on centre vitality and viability.

Very specific measures of diversity, on their own, such as independents vs multiples have less influence. Diversity, by it’s very nature, is not something that can or should be prescribed.

We will be releasing our findings into all 201 factors that influence high street performance at a half-day conference in Manchester on 10th July 2014. Tickets are available from this link

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