Spotlight: Retail Myths Exploded

Retail Myths Exploded
Retail Myth Three

21 September 2015, words by Tom Whittington

You just need 50 to 80 stores to be a national retailer.


During the height of the recession it was often stated that to be a national player a retailer needed between 50 to 80 stores, as the growth in online suggested reduced store portfolios. For some sections of the market this has been the case. However, for others a store portfolio in excess of this is now increasingly being considered as the optimum in order to deliver adequate returns and to ensure a ‘true’ national coverage.

This is apparent in the expansion in average store portfolios seen over the last five years, particularly for those retailers operating with over 50 stores.

Figure 2 details the average portfolio change between 2009 and end of 2014 for multiple retailers across a range of portfolio size bandings (excluding those retailers who have permanently left the high street due to administrations). All brand categories, bar those with under 25 stores, have expanded their portfolios. The most significant expansion has been for those retailers with 75+ stores. Of these, the average increase in store count has been 36.


Change in average portfolio count by retailer size

Figure 2

Source: Savills Research

For the Value and Mass retail sectors, who tend to operate with average portfolios in excess of 100 stores, the expansion has been even more pronounced. Each of these sectors reported average portfolio increases of 88 and 49 respectively.

This trend is likely to continue as an increasing number of retailers, particularly those under private equity ownership such as Pure Gym, Evans Cycles, Byron Burger and Poundworld, require further portfolio expansion in order to drive investment returns. For those centres that ‘fit the bill’ for those expanding retailers this will feed positively into occupational demand and rental growth.


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Key Contacts

Marie Hickey

Marie Hickey

Commercial Research

Savills Margaret Street

+44 (0) 20 3320 8288


Tom Whittington

Tom Whittington

Retail Research

Savills Manchester

+44 (0) 161 244 7779