The proposals are mainly for smaller convenience stores, designed to satisfy local demand and tap into the consumer move away from the ‘weekly shop’ to more frequent, smaller shopping trips.
The ‘big four’, Tescos, Sainsburys, Asda and Morrisons, submitted a combined total of just 20 planning applications for 2018. Property cost issues, an extremely competitive pricing environment, and an excess of floor space in larger stores has precipitated a scaling back of store development plans.
Michael Dall, lead economist at construction intelligence provider Barbour ABI, said: “The discount retailers continue to dominate the supermarket space race even if they’re not as active as 2015, which saw them commit to rapid expansion. Their appetite for investment matches their highly ambitious growth plans as they continue to challenge the established order in the supermarket sector.”