As published in The Grocer on 07 March 2022.

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Two years of Covid has transformed shopping patterns and left property plans in disarray. For some retailers, a new strategy is needed.

Rapley’s partner Richard Curry believes the pandemic will strengthen supermarket interest in smaller regional stores, such as Sainsbury’s plans, announced late in 2020, to open 18 of its new ‘Neighbourhood Hub’ stores over three years.

Nonetheless, after the availability challenges of the pandemic, supermarkets may now be more inclined to seek out stores with more storage capacity and easier delivery access. It is, after all, easier to deliver more frequently to a standalone c-store on the edge of town than on a central urban high street. “They will have to be predicting that they may need to service stores more regularly than pre-Covid,” says Curry.

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