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Preface

This is a book about the retailing industry and its various spatial expressions in Britain. Retailing is an industry; indeed it is one of Britain's largest industries, but it is so familiar to the general public that we tend to take it for granted. Most of us buy things in shops at one time or another but, unless we happen to work there, very few of us visit factories, shipyards or working farms. We therefore tend to assume that shops will be with us just as they have been in the past. But they have not always been with us in the past, and it is debatable that the shops of the next century will look very much like the ones we have now.