Tesco's staggering £6.4bn loss........Sainsburys first full-year loss in almost a decade (£72m).........Asda's 4% sales dip in Q1 2015.....all suggest the boom years for UK food store operators is well and truly over.
Bucking this trend however are the discounters, in the shape of Aldi and Lidl, and also the high-end food retailers, M&S Simply Foods and Waitrose.
Knight Frank partner and former senior acquisitions director at Asda, Richard Petyt explained..... 'It comes down to micro markets, and the big players forgot about this because they were concentrating so much on market share.' In essence, the larger supermarkets have struggled to get sizing right.
Aldi however announced an ambitious plan to open at least 60 new stores this year, equating to some 1m sq.ft.
CBRE head of supermarket agency and development, John Witherell tempered the enthusiasm behind the discounters saying 'It is inevitable that discounters will slow down, they will gently put the brakes when they realise they are running out of market share' .......a view echoed by David Gray of Planet Retail who believes opening rates for both discounters and high-end grocery stores are already tailing off.
An interesting time for the food store sector is approaching, the major chains have had their Ivory Towers rattled, they are responding and will no doubt wrestle back their positions on the back of their strong own label brands (an area the discounters rely on heavily).
(Source Estates Gazette)