Shopping centres such as Birmingham's Bullring and Merry Hill at Dudley will between them suck in an extra £ 14 billion between now and 2020 - as the "great retail divide" continues to widen, with shoppers either targeting designer goods or buying at the cheaper end of the market.
The forecast is one of the conclusions in a new research document from property consultancy King Sturge, which takes an indepth look at the UK retail sector, analysing retailing influences and trends and examining the impact that planning policies have had on the market.
The report says that consumers are deserting the middle-price bracket, either going for the cheapest value offer or the high priced more exclusive branded goods.
Such a trend, which has evolved over the last eight years, means that midmarket retail operators have suffered - and will continue to do so.
Not only that, but King Sturge says that shopping itself has polarised, with the country's top 200 towns now accounting for 74 per cent of the shopping population, compared to 50 per cent in 1971.
In future, more shoppers will visit the larger towns in order to get the choice they need for comparison shopping, while smaller locations will have to try even harder to achieve their share of the average person's non-food trips.
" There is a growing divide between a few strongly growing retailers and the rest. The most successful shopping and leisure attractions are those that have strong branding, optimise the tenant mix and have the ability to exploit market opportunities created by technological advances," said Gareth Williams, who heads King Sturge's retail & development department in the Midlands.
In turn, larger retailers have all become retail winners at the expense of the smaller businesses which have lost considerable market share over the last decade.
However, the King Sturge report, Retailing - The Three Great Divides, argues that congestion and various charges imposed on motorists will act as a constraint to growth in some areas.
As far as planning issues are concerned, the King Sturge report says that the major thrust of Government policy is for more sustainable town-centre development that is less reliant on the car.
King Sturge says the Government is anxious that people without their own means of transport are not subject to less choice.
It is this philosophy that has resulted in the drive towards rejuvenating town centres.