The U.K. retail parks market is expected to grow 13.8% between 2017 and 2022, with the sector set to outperform the high street, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s latest report states that this growth will be driven by new retail parks and extensions of existing ones. Overall, retail parks are becoming more attractive to shoppers as they become less dominated by traditional out-of-town retailers within sectors such as electronics and DIY and gardening, and more by high-street retailers in clothing and footwear as well as health and beauty, such as Next and Boots.
According to GlobalData’s 2,000-respondent survey, 90% of consumers have shopped at a retail park in the last 12 months, with 54.3% visiting at least once a month, illustrating their broad customer appeal.
“The retail parks landscape is changing drastically as discounters in particular are rapidly expanding their share of the market. Over the next five years, discounters will increase their share of the market by 6%, rising to account for 20.3% of retail park sales.”
“The retail parks landscape is changing drastically as discounters in particular are rapidly expanding their share of the market,” says Charlotte Pearce, retail analyst for GlobalData. “Retailers such as Aldi, Lidl, Home Bargains, and Poundland have grown their presence, leveraging their low price points to draw in shoppers.
“Over the next five years, discounters will increase their share of the market by 6%, rising to account for 20.3% of retail park sales. This will demonstrate their ability to attract a broad range of shoppers and generate high footfall.”
By contrast, traditional retail park sectors have seen their share of the overall market decrease over the past five years, with electronics’ share falling by 3 percentage points and DIY and gardening dropping by 1 percentage point, according to GlobalData.
Clothing and footwear retailers need to take advantage of the diversification of the retail-park tenant mix away from more traditional sectors. Securing openings at new or expanding retail parks will allow a retailer to benefit from first-mover advantage by having almost total control of the market at that location, as retailers in these spaces do not suffer from the high level of competition seen on high streets and in shopping centers.
“Despite the clear opportunities offered by retail parks, offline retail remains a challenge as consumers continue to shop online. Retailers must embrace multichannel and support the growth of click and collect in stores, highlighting the convenience of retail-park stores for consumers, such as free parking and ease of access,” Pearce adds.