Measuring the spatial vulnerability of retail centres to online consumption through a framework of e-resilience


This paper presents e-resilience as a framework for assessing the extent to which retail centres have spatially differentiated vulnerability to the impacts of online consumption. This extends the conceptual model of resilience as applied to retail, and is operationalised through a novel methodology that develops two indices that balance both supply and demand influences. We describe the creation of a composite e-resilience indicator, and then calculate it for retail centres across England. Our findings suggest a geographic polarising effect, with least vulnerable centres identified as large and more attractive or as smaller local destinations with a focus on convenience shopping. Mid-sized centres were typically shown to be the most exposed, and are argued as having a less clearly defined function in contemporary retail. Such findings have wide policy relevance to stakeholders of retail interested in the future configuration of sustainable and resilient provision.