Retail locations have made a habit of tying themselves into areas with nearby grocery stores. The reliability of foot traffic that grocery brings to the table has often been seen as a great way to boost the bottom line of a retail store that’s in the same plaza. A new report by CBRE has confirmed just that.
Over the years, stores that have tethered themselves to neighborhood grocery centers have seen much fewer vacancies, even given the massive boom in eCommerce. Even compared to malls, these anchored locations have outperformed their peers and provide the most consistent sales and occupancy numbers in the industry.
The article went on to list a dozen grocery-specific trends that we can expect to see in the coming years. We’ve chosen three of them that we believe are here to stay:
Whether or not the economy is doing well doesn’t have as much of an impact on grocery stores as it does on retail or restaurants. People need to bring food to the table, and as we see population growth, there will also be an increase in sales. Categories like organic foods and packaged snacks are already seeing record numbers, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, history has shown that when it comes to grocery, sales rarely dip or peak compared to the volatility we see in retail. Consider this industry a gradual, steady ride up for the next five years.
eCommerce Will Not Hurt
As we’ve seen the eCommerce boom bring sweeping changes to the retail sector, we can expect to see a flurry of new opportunities hitting grocery as well. The difference? Unlike the warehousing that’s streamlined retail, grocery still often relies on stores themselves to be the main distributors. It would be increasingly difficult to deliver food from an industrial warehouse to your kitchen table, but by using a storefront as the middleman, eCommerce actually provides grocery chains the opportunity to increase their bottom line by offloading inventory in the form of delivery or outside pickup. The study predicts the online grocery share will reach between 5% and 10% by 2022, and will “fundamentally alter but not replace the store” as a result.
Grocery Will Diversify
The final trend we’d like to point out is the diversification of the grocery sector as a whole. Operators are going to need to diversify their offerings to compete with big box stores like Walmart, who are increasingly adding fresh food into their stores. Other chains will surely take a reverse approach, integrating more goods like clothing and convenience items into their locations as a way to stay relevant. This shuffling will lead to varied store formats for different markets, based off of what’s important to each region’s consumer base. Expect to see the customer experience at the forefront of the grocery industry’s priorities over the next five years, as companies continue to vie for market share.
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