Components of retail change in central London
Central London contains one of the most important shopping centres in the world. The principal shopping streets of the west End and Knightsbridge are the core of this centre. The purpose of the study is to investigate patterns of retail change in these streets in the period from 1976 to 1985. A range of quantitative and qualitative data are gathered and analysed in order to describe and explain the patterns of locational change. The three main components of retail change examined are political, economic and social influences. Each of these are discussed in terms of how their principal elements play a part in helping to shape trading patterns in the study area. Specific consideration is given to Oxford Street since this acts as the focus of retail activity in central London. Finally, an attempt is made to model some of the most important aspects of retail change that emerge from the study. The study indicates a retail environment that is characterised by considerable and rapid change. These changes exhibit few elements of regularity or consistency through both space and time. This is a function of the complex range of factors that are responsible for producing this dynamic and unique retail system. Thus, the research identifies changes that have taken place in trading patterns in the principal shopping streets of the West End and Knightsbridge in the period form 1976 to 1985, identifies the factors responsible for producing these changes, and develops an understanding of the ways in which these factors bring their influence to bear.