The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has said that some out-of-town retail developments could benefit local shops.
The claim came in a submission to Holyrood's transport, infrastructure and climate change committee.
The SRC said a supermarket in Galloway had "significantly reduced" the number of consumers travelling further to Dumfries for their weekly grocery shop.
This, it said, kept business more local and reduced the number of vehicle miles travelled by individuals.
The interim director of the SRC, Ian Shearer, is due to give evidence to the committee's inquiry into the relationship between transport and land use planning policies.
In its written submission ahead of the inquiry, the consortium said new retail developments in "appropriate" locations could not only encourage people to shop locally but also reduce carbon emissions.
It said: "In some instances, out-of-town retail development has provided consumers with more local shopping facilities which they were previously travelling further afield, to other destinations, to access."