Guardian: Retail chains 'cloning' UK towns
Britain's town centres are rapidly becoming indistinguishable, losing all sense of local identity as they are taken over by global and national chain stores, economists warned today. A report from the New Economics Foundation estimated how far the nation's high streets had been taken over by a phenomenon it called "clone town Britain"…
The most extreme example of a clone town was Exeter in Devon, the foundation said. On a scale awarding points for the number of independent outlets and range of specialist shops, it scored 6.9 out of 60. At the other end of the scale, Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire scored 48.6. This was the best example of what the foundation called a "home town"—one retaining its individual character.
Couldn't agree more.