Nine out of ten ex-Woolworths sites remain in active retail use, a decade after closure, research from consultancy CannyInsights finds.
The dominance here of variety retailers like Poundland, B&M and Poundstretcher – all of which offer something not dissimilar to Woolworths – is particularly notable, observes CannyInsights owner Graham Soult. It suggests that the latter’s problem was not so much its eclectic range, but a failure to deliver great value to the customer coupled with onerous leases on properties that Woolworths had, in many cases, formerly built and owned.
The new generation of variety retailers, like Wilko and Home Bargains, not only have a very clear value proposition that appeals to the savvy consumer, but also tend to benefit from shorter and more attractive lease terms.
“Creative and well-run businesses that give customers a good-quality experience, and the products and services they want, will continue to be best placed to navigate the changing High Street – just as many occupants of old Woolworths sites are doing now,” Soult concludes.
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