Urban disruption, suburbanization and retail innovation

establishing shopping centres in Australia

Matthew Bailey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Australian cities were transformed in the 1950s and 1960s by the spread of the automobile and suburbanization. This article examines the patterns of retail diffusion that followed and the resultant adoption of the shopping centre form. Further, it considers the broader implications of retail innovation during a period of urban disruption, revealing intersections between urban geographies, business innovation and retail hierarchies. In the Australian case, dominant firms were able to leverage their market power to adapt to shifting retail geographies and new technologies, while some small entrepreneurial developers catering to the needs of these established retailers laid foundations for national and international expansion. A by-product of these processes was the creation of a unique Australian shopping centre form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-169
Number of pages18
JournalUrban History
Issue number1
Early online date1 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

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