Retail property consultancy GCW has launched a division dedicated to alternative sectors such as gyms and drive-thrus as demand for out-of-town locations booms.

The team will also work with other specialist operators including hotels, children’s nurseries and care homes that are increasingly vying for out-of-town retail sites while developers continue to shift towards creating more mixed-use schemes.

GCW’s new alternative sectors team will be led by director Simon Horner and associate director Tim Ashe.

The company already helps the likes of Tesco secure sites on edge-of-town locations for its Express convenience format and is working with Lidl to identify opportunities for the grocer in mixed-use schemes.

Horner said: “Retail locations across our towns and cities are now appealing to a far greater range of occupiers.

“From student housing to leisure operators, the market is being transformed with a new wave of occupiers with an appetite to co-exist with traditional retailers and compete for the best real estate.”