News Article

Head of Retail Richard Curry looks at what’s in (food) store for 2024:

Richard Curry

Richard Curry

Partner – Commercial

28th Feb 2024

-An election will mean large expenditure isn’t forthcoming and retailers will look to improve existing portfolios than expand at a rate of knots.

– Some retailers will expand but these will only be ‘slam dunk’ opportunities where demand is obvious and tested.

– Most retailers will want to be seen as still in the market, however, so as not to miss out. The reality is that some will be rebranding existing stores having acquired portfolios some time ago and others will be downsizing quietly.

– Convenience will continue to do well as shoppers work from home more and stay local.

– Aldi/Lidl will continue to do well as they know their market and have their property strategy down to a tee. In addition, retailers such as M&S like being next to them as they don’t compete for trade/customers which helps capture more market between them as discounters get their basics next door so you’ll see more clusters in retail parks of these brands together.

– You will see a lot more of Farm Foods who have been really active on taking up lower rent stores in a variety of locations with many more stores launching this year

– M&S will grow further out-of-town as it’s got its strategy and format right now and learned to bring the format to its buyers, rather than wait for buyers to go into town centres.

– Those brands who can respond to local demand and provide local supply chains will be in demand.

– Asda will focus on its forecourt offer following Co-Op acquisitions. I think Asda will continue to be curtailed by its non-foodstore specialist owners and centralised operations which has limited its ability to adapt to buyers wants and needs and differential between regional audiences.  Its focus is also more on the forecourt and convenience offer and despite the market, it will continue to open up as many stores as possible to enhance sales to satisfy their owners, especially as the cost of the debt to buy Asda will significantly increase next year.

– The middle ground offers may get squeezed as buyers continue to buy basics from discounters and quality from the likes of M&S.

The jury remains out on Ocado and whether they can make it work but there are signs that the partnership with M&S is doing well – not enough to buy them outright though I would hasten to advise!

Get in touch

Key contacts

Gain national and local expertise through our multidisciplinary teams of experts.