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Policy Exchange: "21st Century Retail Policy: Quality, choice, experience and convenience"

Link to web site

"Policies intended to revive Britain’s ailing high streets are raising the cost of living for hard working families by at least £1,000 a year.

"Town Centre First, a policy introduced in the mid-1990s, was intended to support the high street by limiting out-of-town shopping centres. It has, however, decreased competition between retailers and damaged the social fabric of many communities, especially outside the South East. Between 2000 and 2009, 15,000 smaller town centre-stores closed despite the policy.

"Discriminating against out-of-town outlets has also pushed up prices. This is particularly damaging for low income households. Academic studies show Town Centre First causes productivity losses of between 25% and 45% due to restrictions on the size of a store, its configuration and its location. A 25% loss in productivity in just food and clothes alone cuts the average household income by at least 3%, or around £1,000 a year. The real cost across all goods and services will be even higher."

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