A British Retail Consortium (BRC) survey showing the first decline in retail outlet numbers in three years is not reflected in the convenience sector, says specialist property adviser Christie + Co.
The survey does identify the growth in small format convenience retail and this is an experience shared by Christie + Co.
Head of Retail at Christie + Co’s Exeter office, Paul Heather, says: “Independent operators as well as the multiples are taking vacant sites to convert to convenience stores.
“This demonstrates the continuation of consumer behaviour which sees them shop locally, or at least top-up their shopping locally.”
Paul Heather adds: “The demand for good quality sites is strong. Where identified, and whether they are going concerns or vacant premises such as pubs or other redundant retail sites, they achieve premium real estate values.
“This is great news for independent operators with good sites, developers, investors and the banks who remain active in the convenience retail sector.”