UK supermalls spend to reach £10.9bn by 2023 as they suck sales from the high street

As physical retail spend comes under increasing threat from the online channel, supermalls are set to outperform the total offline market over the next five years as their destination appeal will ensure that growth is resilient, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s report: ‘UK Supermalls 2018 – 2023’ reveals that supermalls retail spend will rise 7.0% out to 2023 as supermalls divert spend away from lacklustre and often neglected town centres. Supermalls are able to offer the best offline alternative to online shopping in terms of product and retailer range, which will bolster the growth of the location as consumers become accustomed to a vast choice.

Emily Salter, Retail Analyst for GlobalData commented: “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.”

The wide range of retailers, leisure and food services drives the destination appeal of supermalls and means that such locations will be better protected from store closures than town centres as major players including Arcadia, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer look to close numerous branches in the next few years.

Salter concluded: “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.

“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.”

More Media