'Buying' power - interpreting retail change in a circuits of power framework

Alan Hallsworth, Michael Taylor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The notion of a new retail geography poses the challenge to produce more critical and rigorous analyses of an important sector of the UK service economy. In this paper we suggest that our understanding of retail processes will be aided by devoting explicit attention to the role of interorganisational power in shaping the commercial environment of the retail sector. Regrettably, many notions of power are undertheorised and static. In particular there is a tendency to treat power as a commodity that may be 'bought' rather than as dynamic and relational. We therefore suggest that a modified version of Clegg's model of circuits of power can add a much-needed dynamic element to a new retall geography. The circuits of power framework is applied to a case study from UK food retailing. The approach clarifies the underlying and inherently dynamic processes of power-based inequality that are driving change.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2125-2137
    Number of pages13
    JournalEnvironment and Planning A
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


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