Against the backdrop of structural change playing out in retail, there is a need to figure out what the future retail and retail property landscape will look like.
Without a doubt there will be more retail casualties. Some of the retail failures will be overdue, in other words, they only lasted this long thanks to a decade of impressive consumer spending, but others will fall victim to increasing competition from the internet. The UK leads the way online and whilst other European countries are lagging, growth in online will continue across the board, for some time to come. Our estimate is that 25% of sales in the UK will ultimately go online and this will hit some harder than others – retailers (books, music, software, gaming, electricals etc.) and retail property alike. The winners will be those that differentiate through exceptional convenience or experience, or both.
What the future holds was discussed at length at the recent BCSC annual conference in Liverpool, is likely to feature heavily at Mapic in November and will remain front of mind for many, for some time. What is for sure, is that predicting the next phase of retail will not be shaped by looking at the past, but will be far more reliant on innovation, entrepreneurialism, dynamism and foresight. Look at the data, but be prepared to think the unthinkable, because in some areas of retail it is already happening.