9 February 2009

Retailing and the Marketing of Urban Places: A UK Perspective

Gary Warnaby a; David Bennison b; Barry J. Davies c
a School of Management, University of Salford, Salford

b Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Manchester
c Gloucestershire Business School, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK

Journal The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Volume 15, Issue 2 April 2005 , pages 191 - 215

Subjects: Consumer Behaviour; Market Research; Retail Marketing;


Notwithstanding the importance of retailing to urban economies, the role of retailing in the marketing of urban places has been an area neglected by both academics and practitioners alike. It is acknowledged that the principles of marketing can be applied (albeit with modification) to the context of urban places. The theoretical implications of this are considered using Corsico's (1993) metaphors of the city as enterprise, market and commodity. Such issues are considered via a survey of place marketing actors within the specific context of the marketing of towns and cities as shopping destinations in urban places classified as sub-regional and above. Particular attention is paid to responsibility for the marketing of the retail provision, the emphasis given to retail in the marketing/promotional activities of various urban stakeholders, the perceived role of retailing, and the factors influencing the nature of the urban retail provision. Promotion of retailing was found to be important for all urban stakeholders to a greater or lesser degree. However, prime responsibility lay with town centre managers and shopping centre managers. The implications for both theory and practice are discussed.

Keywords: Place marketing; retailing; urban places