An increasing consumer focus on affordability and convenience has seen value and discount retailers increase their UK store count by more than 5000 since 2009, according to new research.
The statistics from the recently-published Retail Revolutions: The Rise of the Community Shopping Centre report, by real estate firm Savills and shopping centre investor Ellandi, revealed that value retail has accounted for 87 per cent of all store growth in the UK during that time.
The report also said supermarket chains have increased their convenience offer with more than 1600 stores since 2009.
In addition, 65 per cent of consumers cited convenience as the primary reason for visiting a community shopping centre, with grocery purchases made on 46 per cent of all trips.
This is followed by household, fashion, discount and health & beauty products, all purchased on more than 20 per cent of visits to such centres, while gifts and cards are purchased on 13 per cent of trips.
The range of value and discount retailers available at a community shopping centre was also a key attraction for 20 per cent of shoppers.
“Convenience and value retail have merged and evolved to encompass much more than groceries, as highlighted by the wide range of goods purchased on trips to community shopping centres,” Savills research director Tom Whittington said.
“The value fashion sector has seen particular growth and now accounts for 55 per cent and 65 per cent of all retail brands in secondary and community shopping centres respectively.”
Savills’ head of shopping centre investment Mark Garmon-Jones said tenant profitability was “absolutely key” to sustainable shopping centres.
“While sales densities in secondary locations do not tend to reach the levels achieved in their more premium counterparts, the favourable rents and other costs can compensate for this and lead to strong profit margins,” he said.
“In turn, robust occupational performance provides income security for investors and therefore makes the right shopping centres with these fundamentals very appealing.”
The same report also confirmed the importance of community shopping centres in the retail sector, with 78 per cent of shoppers visiting one at least once a week, while 92 per cent of visit them at least once a month.
This is in stark contrast to figures that suggests only 15 per cent of shoppers nationally visit large shopping centres weekly, and 44 per cent visit one less than twice a year.