The Retail Hierarchy

Planners and retail developers have long maintained the idea of a retail hierarchy in which smaller centres are expected to serve local areas, and larger retail groupings serve wider regions. Recently, however, the boundaries between the traditional dominant retail types have become increasingly blurred and it is often difficult to categorize retail developments neatly. "Lifestyle-focused" developments and mixed-use projects have contributed to this uncertainty (Hernandez, 2007). While acknowledging the retail classification problem, in this study, we identify three primary forms of retail location type: the retail strip, the shopping centre, and power retail.