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Clone Towns Essay

There are two main types of town in the UK, clone towns and home towns. A clone town is a global term for a town where the high street or other major shopping areas are significantly dominated by chain stores, while home towns consist of many local shops and businesses. We went on a trip to our local town Dorking, and conducted an investigation to see if it was a clone town or not Dorking is situated in Surrey, at the foot of the North Downs and next to Box Hill. We followed the Clone Town British Survey, created by the NEF to find out if it was a clone town. We walked up and down each side of the high street noting what type of shops there were, and whether they were multinational, national or local businesses. Using the NEF scoring method we then calculated its clone town score.

1. For each type of shop counted on your high street, give 5 points. 2. For each independently owned shop counted on your high street, give 50 points. 3. For each chain store counted on your high-street, give 5 points. 4. Add up the scores from steps 1–3 and divide the total sum by the number of shops counted (i.e. 50).

If the score was below 25, it is a clone town, between 25-35 a border town, and above 35, a home town. When we tested Dorking, it received a score of 23.5 and just fitted in the clone town bracket. The NEF estimated that 41% of towns and 48% of London villages could be considered clone towns. The increase in clone towns can cause many negative effects. Instead of going back into the local economy, money goes to TNC’s which causes local businesses and jobs go into decline. Local shops are also more likely to use local suppliers for their produce instead of getting abroad.

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