Retail competition and consumer choice: contextualising the “food deserts” debate

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The “food deserts” debate can be enriched by setting the particular circumstances of food deserts – areas of very limited consumer choice – within a wider context of changing retail provision in other areas. This paper’s combined focus on retail competition and consumer choice shifts the emphasis from changing patterns of retail provision towards a more qualitative understanding of how “choice” is actually experienced by consumers at the local level “on the ground”. This argument has critical implications for current policy debates where the emphasis on monopolies and mergers at the national level needs to be brought together with the planning and regulation of retail provision at the local, neighbourhood level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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