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Press Release


Future retail marketing findings

Future retail marketing findings

Retail marketing is set to be increasingly more transport orientated over the next ten years according to new research published by retail property organisation BCSC as part of its Future of Retail Property research programme.

Travel associated with retail is growing faster than any other trip purpose and, in future, transport information, discounts and customer benefits, are likely to become a standard part of the retail consumer marketing mix.

The report Access, Information & Flexibility: The Future of Retail Transport predicts that retailers are likely to become more directly involved in the selling and management of access to transport services. As part of the closer relationships that retailers are developing with their customers, personalised support will be provided for travel, paying for shoppers’ parking, providing door to door transport for low mobility customers, and providing tickets for free or discounted travel on public transport for customers and staff.

The research, which has been undertaken for BCSC by DHC (Derek Halden Consultancy) and the Institute of Retail Studies at the University of Stirling, also points to the increasing use of electronic communications networks to help and influence people in a world of increasingly complex choices. In particular, it points to shoppers relying on mobile phones and other handheld devices with satellite navigation to help them choose which shopping locations to visit by providing up-to-the-minute information on how best to get to a certain destination by public or private transport or even where best to go depending on what they want to buy and taking into account journey times and delays at the time they want to go shopping.

Overall, predicts the report, retail travel in 2015 will look quite similar to today, but new pricing mechanisms, technologies and lifestyle changes will be gaining momentum. Cars currently account for over 60% of all shopping trips and this is likely to grow over the next ten years, although they will increasingly be replaced by more flexible, automated, efficient – but also more expensive - modes of transport.

The report identifies several key trends that will influence the way in which people get to the shops and, therefore, how they choose which shops to go to, including:

• The cost of travel will rise as a result of growing fuel costs, labour costs and road pricing;

• Car travel will continue to be the dominant mode of transport, but there will be growth in high frequency and high speed modes of public transport which will ensure that major transport hubs become even more attractive retail locations;

• As the majority of the public start to carry and use smart cards and other smart media, the companies behind them will gain market share for small retail purchases, public transport and, in the longer term, road pricing;

• Mass markets will emerge for new, more expensive alternative energy sources – but the rate of change will depend on the incentives offered by Government including through carbon trading and rationing, and replacing vehicle fleets and infrastructure will take decades;

• Site-specific travel plans will become core business at most shopping places, helping managers to ensure that transport difficulties do not adversely affect competitiveness.

Commenting on the research findings, Derek Halden of DHC said: “Transport accounts for more than 15% of household spending and this is growing. The indirect effects of wider economic, demographic and social changes on these spending patterns will have a greater impacts on future transport than the direct effects from changes in the supply of roads, parking, buses, trains, cycle routes and footpaths. In the new information age, lifestyle, attitudes and behaviour change will mean that more sophisticated consumers make new travel choices.”

“Large urban areas and out-of-town centres will attract increasing retail trade as they are generally able to offer more attractive and flexible transport options than smaller centres can. Other retail locations may also be attractive, but the options provided by local retail transport initiatives will have significant positive or negative impacts.”

“The transport changes identified in our report will be particularly critical for the future of secondary urban centres, freestanding towns, suburban and local centres and retail parks. Many of these locations will remain viable despite transport changes, but some will not. Shopping place owners and managers will need to work with retailers and local authorities to ensure that the negative impact of transport change is minimised while future development in such locations should be the subject of detailed analysis of exposure to transport risk.”

BCSC Chief Executive Michael Green added: “Transport is becoming ever more important for retail competitiveness, affecting both supply and demand. This research predicts a future in which transport accessibility, efficiency, flexibility and information availability will define good retail transport and, therefore, attractive retail places. Large transport markets evolve slowly, but the sector is set for a major transformation and the patterns set in the next ten years will define the future of retail transport for many decades to come. This important piece of research will help retailers and shopping place owners and developers understand how best to take advantage of these developments.”


For further information, please contact:

Melanie Hopper or Linda Welch


T: 020 7087 3260

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