Retailer Representation - 237 'Vital and Viable' Factors

As part of our series on vital and viable high streets, the High Streets Task Force is presenting 'evidence on a page' summaries of over 200 factors that influence the success of high streets. Here we address retailer representation: retailer representation refers to the types of retailers that are located within the high street/town centre (goods/services, independents/multiples etc.).

Date added 16 November 2021
Last updated 16 November 2021

Retailer representation has been a staple key performance indicator for monitoring the health of the high street. Changes in retailer representation can drastically affect the quality of the amenities and attractions of a high street, and ultimately alter the centre’s role (URBED, 1994). As such, local authorities have been advised since the introduction of the Planning Policy Guidance Note 6 (DoE, 1996) to monitor the retailer representation, as well as the intentions to change representation.

Whereas it may be tougher to control the mix of retailers that want to enter or leave the high street or the town centre, it is important to remember that it is the collective offer that is attracting consumers in a centre (Millington et al., 2015). Depending on the size of the market and activity, place managers and local authorities may be able to easily identify gaps in the retail offer based on centre surveys.

Retailer representation is one of 237 factors that have been identified as influencing the vitality and viability of the high street.

For more information and further reading, download the pdf 'evidence on a page'. The page contains information about this factors place within the 237 factors identified and: whether it is a component factor of one of 25 'vital and viable' priorities; how the factor scores in terms of influence, place management control, and priority.

To read more about vital and viable high streets, see