Local shops bounce back against out-of-town retail parks as shopping patterns continue to change

06 July 2017

C-stores and independent shops are leading a new boom in community shopping centres, which are increasingly taking business from out of town ‘destination centres’, according to a new report published earlier this week.

The report, by estate agent Savills and shopping centre investor Ellandi, surveyed more than 8,000 shoppers and found the rise of convenience meant consumers were less willing to travel to large retail schemes and more inclined to shop locally and more frequently.

It found that despite their desire for convenience, shoppers were spending large amounts of time in these local shops, with 44% of trips lasting longer than an hour.

The report also discovered 78% of shoppers visited a community shopping centre at least one a week, rising to more than 90% monthly, with the proportion higher in areas such as the Midlands, north west and north east regions.

In contrast, just 15% of consumers nationally visited large regional shopping centres weekly, and 44% visited less than twice a year. Retail parks drew 19% of shoppers at least once a week, rising to 53% for high streets.

Report author Tom Whittington, retail research director at Savills, said: “People are looking for smaller retail baskets and are shopping more frequently and often more locally.

“Local centres generally offer a high proportion of groceries and staple goods, while destination schemes provide a greater number of fashion and comparison goods, with a more comprehensive leisure offer. However, there is clearly more to the relationship with community shopping centres than convenience, as revealed by the surprisingly long dwell times and range of goods purchased.”

The average basket spend across all age groups was £36.60 per visit, rising to £78 for trips longer than two hours, according to the report.