Food & grocery has dominated out of town in terms of its share of sales and space up to 2019 but sales densities are set to struggle. To reverse this, grocers need to drive traffic to stores, with click and collect being one option. However, inertia for click and collect exists among shoppers and grocers may have to coerce shoppers into using it.
One trend we expect to emerge within out of town is the continued shift towards softer sector such as clothing and general merchandisers as well as offering more leisure options. Such a change will be beneficial to retail park owners as it widens the potential customer base, drives footfall and increases dwell time.
While improving, sales densities through out of town will grow by only 2.8% between 2014 and 2019. This is due solely to grocers who will continue to expand despite the prevailing trend within grocery being the demand for smaller top-up shops. Densities will improve in the other sectors however as retailers remain cautious about opening new space.