Press Release

31% fewer town centre stores by 2020, says Javelin Group report.

As retail enters one of its most disruptive phases in its history, Javelin Group assesses the long term future of UK non-food retailing and suggests six strategic priorities for retailers.

white_paper_how_many_storesLondon, 10 October 2011. Javelin Group, Europe’s leading specialist retail and omni-channel consultancy, has published a report on the future of retail: How many stores will we really need? UK non-food retailing to 2020.

The report assesses the future of the four largest non-food categories (Clothing & Footwear, Electricals, Furniture & Floor Coverings, and Health & Beauty) and specifies six strategic priorities for retailers to ensure they are well positioned by 2020.

eCommerce and multi-channel will continue to dominate the retail agenda. The report shows that ecommerce will capture 34% of the sales in these categories (up from 14% today), with the internet influencing 75% of sales (up from 44% today). Sales through stores (including those researched online) will decline to 66% (down from 86% today).

The growth in ecommerce will be at the expense of town and shopping centre store sales especially, which will shrink by 27%. This will result in 21% less retail space and 31% fewer stores in town centre venues. But the impact across retail venues will be far from uniform. Performance will continue to polarise, with secondary shopping venues declining further while prime venues such as Westfield will thrive, attracting customers and driving strong performance.

Javelin Group suggests the implications of these finding for retailers are urgent. Retailers need to act now to build strong multi-channel capabilities and develop the significant economies of scale which can be achieved in ecommerce, reconfigure and (in many cases) downsize store estates, while redefining the roles and formats of stores to exploit fully the value of multi-channel retailing. Retailers must also look to invest in their brands and private labels as the best defence against the margin erosion being driven by the web and, once they have a sound domestic base, look at opportunities to exploit ecommerce to expand internationally.

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