The changing role of urban planning in the Netherlands from regulatory to public-private development planning implies the need to gain insight into multistakeholder decision making in a spatial planning context. In this paper we show the importance of unravelling influence structures that affect individual stakeholder decisions. For this purpose we looked at the Dutch retail planning context, where recently the responsibility for planning decisions has been deputed to local governments and peripheral retail planning restrictions have been relaxed. As a result, at present, local governments, realestate developers, and retail firms jointly decide on the location of new retail facilities. It is assumed that each stakeholder's attitude towards peripheral retail planning is influenced by the preference structures of other stakeholders and may reflect their professional background. We focus on adaptive behaviour, the phenomenon that a decision maker adjusts his or her preferences towards specific preferences of other stakeholders in order to move to consensus. We provide a method for measuring this adaptive behaviour, based on existing random utility choice modelling techniques. To assess preferences of stakeholders for peripheral retail planning options as well as their adaptive behaviour, three groups of stakeholders (real-estate developers, retail organizations, and local governments) were invited to take part in a web-based conjoint choice experiment. It was found that all stakeholders show rather conservative behaviour regarding peripheral retail development, especially with respect to fashion. Adaptive behaviour appeared to be cooperative and significant: stakeholders tend to (temporarily) increase preferences for alternative plans preferred by the other stakeholders. Developers appeared to be the most adaptive in their decision behaviour. Taking into consideration adaptive behaviour may help to improve existing multistakeholder decision models. © 2013 Pion and its Licensors.