Annie Dawson, TMF tutor, writes……..
I love this article that I read in The Grocer a few weeks ago…
So we all know that the Big Four have got too much space in their stores – and are now looking for ways to either sell off or use up the available space that they have.
This has come about because of the last decade and the “race for space” where Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s have all been snapping up available supermarket space and opening new stores.
Now, however, demand has stalled because we’re all shopping online or popping out to our smaller convenience stores…so the big boys are having to re-think their store opening programme and the value of their assets (in stores) has been slashed.
At first the thinking seemed to merely shift from large stores to smaller stores and then to online shopping…however now the emphasis seems to be a little more drastic and the supermarket chains are allocating space in some superstores to catering (coffee shops and delis), creches (makes life easier for mum to shop) and gyms. I read that Sports Direct are to start to take space in some Tesco stores.
The best of these “use of available space” stories has got to go to Tesco and its thinking around pet pampering.
Tesco are embarking on a new venture which will allow dog owners to have their pets pampered while they shop. The service has kicked off on trial in one of the Cardiff stores and is known as the “PetDen”, it will offer dog grooming treatments and other pet related products.
Sainsbury’s is planning on identifying the stores it no longer needs for selling food and using some of them to sell its range of Homeware non-food products. Other space will be sublet to the retailers like Argos and Jessops
The retail analysts are predicting that the Big Four will most likely end up with their retail space looking like the approach seen in France (Carrefour and Casino), where smaller tenants lease space for units for coffee shops and hairdressers – in more of a mall like approach.
There is also an expectation of more dark stores – supermarkets without customers which are used to pack online grocery orders and clearly some stores will have to be sold.
Shopping habits are changing…and the big retailers are being forced to move with the trends…the share of grocery spending that takes place in supermarkets is falling, as shoppers are increasingly turning away from a weekly shop in out-of-town supermarkets towards more frequent visits to convenience stores as well as shopping online and with the discounters Aldi and Lidl.