Research and analysis

High street and retail sector: recent trends and policy implications

This research examines recent high street trends and how local strategies and policies affect high street performance.



BIS research paper 188 is a 2 part report commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). It assesses the policy implications of recent town centre and retail trends. This is based on a sample of 50 town centres in England.

Part 1 of this study uses data-analysis to identify town-centre types. It analyses historical trends in things such as:

  • high street vacancy
  • centre size
  • the prevalence of and number of charity shop chains

This is in order to understand how different types of centre have fared over the past decade.

In part 2 of the report this typology of town centres is then applied to 10 case study town centres in 2 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). This part of the research looks in detail at how local policies and strategies are trying to deal with changes in the high street.

Published 18 December 2014