30% reduction in store space by 2020 a conservative estimate
Categories: Future of Retail
, Future of the High Street
Tags: Javelin Group
"We predict that by 2020 in the UK, anything up to about 30% of space in some of our key categories will not be supportable in town centres. Now, that’s a pretty big percentage over quite a short timeframe. And when we came to that conclusion before we actually sort of went public and discussed it in a white paper we released, we talked to a number of chief executives of retail businesses about that to see whether they shared our view, whether they thought we were being a little bit sort of overly dramatic. And actually the response was, if anything, we were being a bit conservative, and that the chief execs thought it was going to be a bigger impact than that. Now, whether we’re right or whether they’re right, doesn’t really matter, it’s them that are making investment decisions. So if they’re seeing the future in such stark terms in terms of the speed of change on the high street, it’s them that are taking investment decisions about where they’re going to open stores, close stores, or how they’re going to support the network. So first change, quite a lot of contraction. Personally I think that the obvious response to that, given some of the other more social changes in the UK, has to be a much greater proportion of residential development going back into town centres, with the hope that at some point the increased demand created by that increased residential comes into equilibrium with the smaller space footprint that’s there."