Convenience stores succeed in multiple locations, finds study

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Colliers International: trend for localism

Convenience stores are opening and succeeding in multiple shopping locations, according to a study by leading property company Colliers International.

Colliers’ research and forecasting team has looked at the evolution of store representation in the UK over the past decade, as well as the types of retailers who are faring the best despite the current economic climate.

It found convenience stores, chemists, mobile phone stores and charity shops have opened the greatest number of outlets in regional centres, sub-regional centres, town centres and district centres.

Food specialists have been successful in sub-regional and town centres only. Clothing and footwear retailers have expanded in regional centres only and cards and stationery stores in district centres only.

Conversely, off-licences, CTNs, books/toys/CDs and electrical/household appliances retailers have failed to extend in all four types of centre. General food retailers are well represented in district centres only and furniture and carpet retailers in regional centres only.

Richard Doidge, head of research consultancy at Colliers International, said: “It’s interesting to note the retail winners and losers seem to be the same, no matter what the size of the centre they inhabit. This suggests there are many retailers which do not differentiate between different tiers of the shopping hierarchy when seeking locations to open or close stores.”

The study also found, despite the recent economic downturn, the number of multiples has increased significantly across all four tiers of the retail hierarchy over the past decade, with the biggest percentage growth being in the smaller centres.

“Talk of a ghost town Britain is rather misleading,” said Doidge. “Nevertheless, there are obviously some centres experiencing long-term retail decline. This is attributable to local factors rather than national ones though. Turning this group of centres around will require innovative, bespoke solutions that fully embrace local issues.”

According to Colliers, the Government’s ‘localism’ agenda should help by encouraging local authorities to make planning decisions relevant to local communities and enable them to offer more specific and flexible planning solutions, such as local development orders.