The UK Supermalls market is expected to surpass physical retail growth to reach £12.3bn in 2022, according to a report by GlobalData.
Titled ‘UK Supermalls 2017-2022’, the report states that leisure and food services at supermalls are being more attractive to millennials, when compared to physical retail locations.
The clothing and footwear segment is expected to be the biggest contributor to the growth, while smaller sectors such as health & beauty and jewellery are expected to increase by 14.5% and 13.8% respectively.
Food services and leisure experiences have been the biggest driving forces for the growth of supermalls. Over the past 12 months, 43.2% of the UK population has visited a supermall for the wide choice of retailers and products in addition to the experiences and services offered.
In addition, the younger generation aged between 16 and 24 had the highest penetration at 69.2%, highlighting the importance of food and leisure services for millennials. Supermalls have, therefore, started focusing on the development of food and leisure services over the next five years rather than investing in retail expansion, states Sofie Willmott, senior retail analyst at GlobalData.
Although department stores have been the primary anchors in the retail industry, fashion retailers such as Primark, H&M and Zara are now opening large format up-scaled stores offering a broad range in supermalls.
With the rise in supermalls, the relevance of traditional retailers such as Debenhams, Next and M&S over the coming years is questionable, adds Willmott.
Further, offering a best-in-class experience at supermalls is essential to counter online sales. A rise in online purchases reduces the frequency of supermall visits and consequently sales.
Supermalls need to offer a seamless experience as that of online shopping in order to remain relevant. In addition to food and leisure services, convenient services such as CollectPlus lounges and ‘hands-free’ shopping are expected to increase visits and spend at supermalls, the report adds.