Food & service retail: Small retail has big potential
- November 1, 2023: Vol. 35, Number 10

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Food & service retail: Small retail has big potential

by Sterling Hillman

For thousands of years, the marketplace has been a fixture of our daily lives — places where people buy and sell goods and services. While the nature of retail real estate has evolved over time, a certain mantra has remained: “Keep it simple.”

The current environment seems to be another inflection point in the retail space. Outside observers assume that ecommerce has decimated the sector — finishing off what the pandemic started in terms of consumers’ buying patterns. Others may have read headlines about the “over-retailing” of the United States and jumped to the conclusion that current total square footage is out of step with demand. But the data tell a different story.

Amid all the noise and distortion, the fundamentals of retail — location, convenience and enduring demand — ring true and shine through. Small-format, convenience-oriented, open-air, food and service shopping centers are proving to be a thriving, internet-resistant segment of the sect

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