Online retail may soon threaten the economic future of large supermarket chains, according to British investor and chairman of LondonMetric Patrick Vaughn. Vaughn’s company has been altering its investment patterns based on the assumption that many physical retail locations will soon be economically unsustainable. Halifax Market Watch has more:
Vaughan said: “The retail occupier market continues to go through seismic changes as consumers modify their shopping patterns. This is having a profound impact on the number and size of stores that retailers want and is prompting more and more retailers to actively ‘rightsize’ their existing store portfolios.“This is particularly prominent in the food sector where the growth in convenience and online shopping is having a significant impact on the larger superstores. It is only a matter of time before this has a negative impact on the value of those large stores that occupiers no longer consider economically fit for purpose.”
As the FT points out in its piece on Vaughan’s remarks, “brick and motor” grocery stores that consumers have to drive to are already showing signs of contraction. This month British grocery stores experienced their first drop in sales in twenty years, and various supermarket chains have reversed plans to expand to new locations. It is possible to envision a future when abandoned former supermarkets become as numerous as abandoned former shopping malls already are. Online shopping services that deliver groceries to your door will flourish—which will be a major green gain. When people drive to the store less often, they will be responsible for releasing fewer emissions into the atmosphere, leading to a healthier planet.As in England, so in America. The landscape of buying and shopping is changing dramatically right before our eyes, and, so far at least, it looks to be all to the good.