In my last column, I discussed some of the major trends that I see becoming a factor in 2014, with one of those being the continued movement for retailers to shrink their physical footprints. Most prominently, Target and Wal-Mart have begun exploring this option—specifically in urban markets where space is at a premium. In this edition of Retail Rap, I further expand upon my prediction that stores will continue to trend smaller, something that could end up being a philosophical change from here on out.
Stung by overdevelopment where retail potential doesn’t exist, it’s only natural that retailers would begin changing their approach. Today, retailers and developers are essentially exclusively focused on population in place — even high-growth areas are treated with a certain degree of suspicion and caution. With more people moving back into urban areas (areas that have been frequently underserved with retail in the past few decades), retailers have understandably been eyeing those urban areas. Now retailers are focusing on answering two questions: where are we underserved, and what is the smallest size that will adequately serve that market?
Check out the full article from my recurring column, Retail Rap, at Chain Store Age.