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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on retail in city centres

Lashgari, Yasaman S. and Shahab, Sina ORCID: 2022. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on retail in city centres. Sustainability 14 (18) , 11463. 10.3390/su141811463

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Over the past few decades, city centres and their retail spaces have undergone significant changes and have struggled to remain economically viable. The COVID-19 pandemic and the public health response to the crisis have exacerbated this situation and posed a serious challenge to the already economically struggling city centres. Recommendations for how city centres should respond to the current crisis are urgently needed, but despite this, few studies have focused on the impact of COVID-19 on retailing in city centres. This paper conducts a systematic review to provide a better understanding of how retail in city centres has been affected by the pandemic. It also offers insights to support better decision making about the future of retailing in city centres and provides recommendations for ensuring a sustainable future for city centres. The review, conducted between the 20th of November 2021 and the 20th of January 2022, shows that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent public health response have intensified some considerable changes in customer preferences and the role of city centres. As a result of these changes, more retailers have adopted multichannel retailing and repositioning strategies. This paper concludes that in order to create vibrant and sustainable city centres post-pandemic, decision makers should support the repurposing of vacant and underperforming retail spaces, promote an experience economy, and create episodic retail spaces.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2071-1050
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 September 2022
Date of Acceptance: 9 September 2022
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 19:31

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