Canterbury City Council is carrying out research into the shopping habits of residents.
Staff are carrying out telephone surveys with random households asking questions about food and non-food shopping, how and where people shop and the amount they spend.
They will also be speaking to businesses and carrying out face-to-face interviews with shoppers.
The information will influence the council’s next Local Plan.
Simon Thomas, the authority’s head of planning, said: “It’s been well documented that the retail sector is changing so it’s important our plans and policies reflect that in order to ensure the district continues to thrive.
“Hearing first hand from our residents and businesses about how their shopping habits have altered is a vital piece of work and we hope to get some really valuable insight from these surveys.”
The council has commissioned NEMS Market Research to conduct the surveys on its behalf. The interviewers identify themselves as being from the council at the beginning of each call. Calls may take place during the day, evening or at the weekend.