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Supermalls set to outperform other retail destinations says report

‘Supermall’ developments are set to outperform other physical retail locations over the next five years, investing in their destination appeal to ensure they are resilient in the face of growing of online sales, according to new predictions from GlobalData.

The company’s UK Supermalls 2018 – 2023 report predicts that retail spend at large malls will rise by 7 per cent over that period, as customers are tempted away from lacklustre town centres. Supermalls are able to offer a wide choice and well-managed environments to bolster their position as favoured places for customers to visit.

“Clothing & footwear drives the bulk of spend at supermalls, accounting for 59.1% in 2018, and retailer investment will ensure this continues as a number of players open and refurbish stores in supermalls, such as Primark’s recent opening in Bluewater. Primark is the most visited clothing retailer in supermalls – 30.2% of supermall visitors browsed a store – as its discount credentials appeal to a wide range of shoppers, and it continues to expand its presence in such locations, becoming a new type of anchor retailer,” says GlobalData retail analyst Emily Salter.

Bluewater's beach
Bluewater's beach

The broad retail choice at supermalls, and the range of food and leisure options available, will help to protect them from the store closures that dent footfall in town centres, says GlobalData.

“Supermalls hold the most appeal for younger consumers, as more 16-24 year olds have visited them in the past 12 months than any other age group. The retailer selection is well suited to young shoppers, as supermalls are often dominated by mass market clothing & footwear retailers, such as H&M and Zara,” says Salter.

“To remain appealing to this demographic, it is essential that the retail and leisure offer is frequently refreshed with new and exciting brands. Pop-up shops and flexible food service options, like street food style eateries, can be valuable mechanisms to offer continual variety and maintain appeal as a social destination.”

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