This is a study of consumer satisfaction with retail diversity that looked at consumer perceptions of store choice in their area. The authors found that people who live in deprived areas tended to be more satisfied with any given mix of shops than less deprived consumers, which might suggest that the fact of access itself was far more important to these shoppers, or that those living in deprived areas are less concerned with retail diversity because they simply have more important things worry about.
They also found consumer preferences that support branding:
“Consumers in the most affluent areas were substantially less satisfied if they had a Tesco supermarket at close range than if they had the more ‘upmarket’ Sainsbury supermarket in their area, suggesting this brand is a priority for them, which is consistent with the Sainsbury market position. In contrast, neighbourhoods of average deprivation were most responsive to the addition of the two brands (ASDA and Morrisons) that were not available in their local retail assortments.”
This is a good example of how local deprivation can impact on retail planning policies, with the authors arguing that the findings provide strong support for policies aimed at preserving diversity in local stores.