The Parliamentary All Party Small Shops Group of MPs is to investigate trends in the UK retail market with a view to answering public concerns about creeping centralisation. The inquiry will invite evidence from retailers, consumers, and government and enforcement bodies.
Jim Dowd MP, chair of the group, said: “My colleagues and I have become aware of the increasing concerns of our constituents, independent retailers and academics alike regarding the loss of diversity and amenity within the retail sector.
“Constituents have raised fears about the breakdown of town and country life of which the retail industry is an integral part. This inquiry will look at the broad spectrum of criteria for a thriving high street and the role this plays in the community.”
He added: “We anticipate that this report will make recommendations to the secretary of state and director general of the Office of Fair Trading on whether the market needs to be investigated further, and how public policy in this area should be developed to the benefit of consumers.”