Essays on The Effect of Gunwharf on the Retail Trade in Portsmouth Case Study

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The paper "The Effect of Gunwharf on the Retail Trade in Portsmouth" is an outstanding example of a business case study.   Portsmouth is one of the largest cities within the ceremonial county of Hampshire found on the South coast of England. It is well known as the United Kingdom’ s major island city. On the other hand, Gunwharf Quays, a shopping mall in the city of Portsmouth is considered as the centrepiece of the revitalization of Portsmouth Harbour. It is a landmark scheme that made the city to be re-launched as one of the leading waterfront retail as well as leisure destinations within Europe.

Research indicates that Gunwharf Quays is an attractive location for visitors who may be looking for a retail place to shop within the heart of Portsmouth. Initially, Gunwharf Quays retailing was perceived as designer and cosmopolitan entry that was different from other major traditional retail centres in the city of Portsmouth. During its planning stages, the retailers of Gunwharf, in particular, those found in the Southsea regions of Portsmouth were very much concerned about the development of Gunwharf whether if it would take lead in trade and outcompete other shopping areas in the city.

Today, the modern developments at Gunwharf Quays make it a different market from other traditional and niche retail openings and restaurants in the Southsea region of Portsmouth city (Legg, 2006). In a recently published, the News articles (Thomas, 2002) examined that the Commercial Road within the city centre and the main shopping location in Portsmouth, based on trade and visitors have made a huge loss of approximately 23% of its total numbers of visitors who come to shop between 1999 and 2001.

On the other hand, Thomas (2002) argued that although the number of visitors has fallen, there were no traders’ reports indicating a fall in profits. This creates a different way to examine the issue which implies that traders were as well not making any increase in trade profits otherwise this could be highlighted in the article. However, the fall in the number of visitors who use the Commercial Road in a period of the above highlighted years clearly corresponds with the establishment of the West Quay outlet in Southampton.

Thomas (2002, p. 7) argued that there could be a causal link and not just a correlation between the establishment of Gunwharf Quays and the decline of trade within the City Centre as he stated that, “ Currently, people are shifting their interest in the centre to the opportunities of glossy new developments, for instance, Gunwharf quays and the Southampton’ s West Quay” , Thomas (2002, p. 7). It cannot be doubted that West Quay has to a larger extent attracted potential visitors all the way from Commercial Road. However, it is quite clear that Gunwharf Quays is well-positioned as the main competitor of Commercial Road as well as the major reason for the continued decrease in the number of visitors.

Recent redevelopments have resulted in new shopping areas, for instance, the upmarket Gunwharf Quays that contains fashion stores as well as restaurants and cinema for entertainments. Some of the largest shopping sites that have been established as a result of the Gunwharf redevelopments include Ocean Retail Park that is found on the north-eastern part of Portsea Island. This has shops that offer large floor space where consumer goods are sold, the Bridge centre as the shopping centre which is currently dominated by the various Asda Walmart.

In addition, several other smaller shopping sites exist throughout the city which promotes retail trade-in Portsmouth city (Harrison, 2007).


Cook, I. R. (2001). ‘Why do retail firms locate on the Boardwalk at Port Solent?’ Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth.

Harrison, A., (2007). The impact of the car on the City of Portsmouth and how it affects people and place, University of Portsmouth.

Legg, B., (2006). Revitalization on the naval waterfront: experiences in Portland, UK, University of Portsmouth.

Thomas, P., (2002). ‘Struggling shopping center could bustle European-style’ The News, 22nd July 2002, pp 7.

Twaites, G., (2000). ‘Urban regeneration at Gunwharf: socio-economic consequences for Portsea’, Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth.

Weyes, L. C., (1995). City of Portsmouth: Gunwharf/Millennium Development Brief, Portsmouth: Portsmouth City Council.

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