I'll give you an overview of my home town of Slough, Berkshire, England. a town of 130,000 just to the west of London. Though there are various small hamlets that have existed here for hundreds of years, the real growth in population began when the Great Western line was built in 1840. In the interwar years mass suburbanisation began in the UK especially around London and Slough grew rapidly in the 1920's and 1930's. this is when the majority of its growth occurred. growth resumed after the war but strict green belt laws meant that Slough was built out by the 1970's and there has been only the been a few subdivsions since.
Planning controls are much stricter in the UK and the second world war had a massive effect on car ownership in the UK. It was not till the 1960's that it overtook the levels seen in the 1930's. Consequently most shopping areas have limited parking in comparison to the US.
Also most shopping areas have kept to historic town centres or old village centres have been the focus of new suburban shopping areas. So most 'strip' retail is a mix mostly pedestrian focused streets with a mix of buildings from different ages as older buildings have been demolished for new.
There has though been some out of centre development and most towns have kept it fairly limited.
Slough Town centre.
Massively redeveloped since the 1930's till the 1990's. The high street is still going strong. It is the shopping malls that need to be demolished and rebuilt as they no longer meet modern retailer requirements. The high street is partially pedestrianised. The town centre was half demolished in the 1960's to build an inner bypass. It was hideous. Currently it is in the process of being rebuilt as a proper avenue and hopefully a prettier town centre will emerge
Farnham Road. The biggest suburban street outside the town centre. Built in the 1920's in the first boom. Few of the original buildings left as has been rebuilt in stages in the 1950's 1970's and now. This street is on the edge of the massive trading estate, The shops here are a mix of family owned business, there are lot of shops that are focused on the building trade, electricals. Still a heavily asian areas, though the Polish have made big inroads here.
A typical small suburban centre (langley) with a mix buildings and a purpose built shopping mini mall with flats. Though there are terraces built near the railway station, the majority of the area was built in the 60's and 70's. This area has banks, small supermarkets, opticians, fast food places dentist etc.
Here is a prettier suburban high street formed round the historical core of Burnham. Though part of Sloughs built up area it is across the city boundary in the much richer South Bucks. The main road was built around the old high street and so it is not traffic choked like others in Slough.
Suburbs in the UK are planned. Planners often designated spots were small parades of shops would be built so people could walk to some shops for everyday needs.
For example here is one from the 1950's set around a green. Notice it lost part of it to cater for the growth in car ownership. A smaller selection of shops than Langley and as it is not on a main road suffers from a lack of passing trade.
Contrast it with this parade from the 1970's
It's on a through road near a trading estate, hence the ever popular tesco express and is continually busy.
Here are the two main retail parks in Slough
This one is more home furnishing focused. Many councils placed bulky good restrictions in their parks, so that they could only sell electricals' or furniture. In the last decade or so more traditional town centre stores have moved out of town.
This one contains two clothing stores and a general retailer, rather than the traditional tenants of the other park.
These aerial shots cover the remaining out of centre retail strips for Slough, thats all for a town of 130,000.