The local shopping sub-sector of the retail market caters for local communities and tends to serve a limited catchment area. Local shopping is focused on suburban parades and neighbourhood centres, as well as individual convenience stores. These are typically located in individual districts within conurbations and villages. However, the local shopping market can also include niche retail areas in city centres serving local or specialist needs.
Local shopping is distinct from the traditional high street in that it tends to lack comparison shopping. In contrast, it caters for top-up and just-in-time purchases, with a high proportion of non-discretionary spend. It is characterised by comparatively small unit sizes and a high proportion of independent traders, who are often known personally to their customers.