The report shows how retail spaces once filled with a thriving mix of independent butchers, newsagents, tobacconists, pubs, bookshops, greengrocers and family owned general stores are fast being filled with faceless supermarket retailers, fast-food chains, mobile phone shops and global fashion outlets. 

NEF believes Britain doesn’t have to become a nation of clone towns. The homogenisation of high streets is not benign or inevitable. Just as regulatory changes have allowed it, the right changes can begin to turn back the tide. As the survey results show, there is still time for action to protect the identity of our towns, and to prevent our border towns becoming clone towns.

By promoting local shops we can enhance diversity, and increase the vitality and stability of local economies. That way we can begin to reverse the trend in the towns that have already been overtaken by clones. Clone Town Britain proposes a manifesto for the return of diversity to our high streets.