H&M’s move to open more retail park stores shows how the nature out of town retailing is changing.
It’s significant not just for H&M but for the market generally. Fashion on retail parks has been a growing trend over the past few years, with Next being particularly enthusiastic, M&S saying its out of town stores have outperformed, and new formats like Asda Living have emerged.
But young fashion is a different ball game. New Look has made some moves out-of-town, but generally the customer who shops with these retailers is someone who likes the buzz of the town centre, and very often doesn’t drive either.
There’s clearly an opportunity in developing young fashion offers out of town, and retailers like the lower occupational costs.
But deals will only be done on the right sort of park with the right experience and access. That means a better, more imaginative environment, bus routes as well as parking spaces, and crucially the right tenant mix so that younger shoppers feel that out-of-town shopping is for them, not just for their mum and dad.