Transit Stations: The New Mall? Fung Business Intelligence Centre Report


For Immediate Release



UK retailers are opening new locations near rail stations and airports, setting a precedent for the rest of the world, according to FBIC report

NEW YORK (April 9, 2015) – The “mall” experience in the United Kingdom might be changing form, as retailers are beginning to open locations at major commuter hubs to satisfy consumers who have little discretionary

time. According to Fung Business Intelligence Centre’s new report “Going Places? Transit Retail UK & Worldwide,” this new trend is likely to gain traction in other parts of the world.

Increasingly time-pressed commuters are shopping wherever they can, and UK retailers are responding by opening locations at railway stations, airports and petrol stations. Investors are taking notice, with one major industry consolidation already taking place.

“Transit retail is a fast-growing sector that promises new opportunities in many markets as passenger numbers increase and shoppers search for greater convenience in their time-pressed lifestyles,” writes Deborah Weinswig, Executive Director-Head of Global Retail & Technology of FBIC. “Transit hubs could be ‘mini-malls’ in coming years, well situated to benefit from

changes in consumer behavior.

“Transit hubs are becoming destinations in their own right, with new small-store formats and edited ranges,” Weinswig says. “Not only are shoppers making on-site purchases, they are using the sites for ‘click and collect’ shopping-picking up in-store items purchased online.”

“Retailers are just following their customers,” the report observes. Rail passengers in the UK comprised 1.6 billion passenger journeys in 2014, a 23 percent increase over the previous year. That number is expected to rise 14 percent in 2015.

“Britain is the leading Western economy for e-commerce, multichannel retailing and particularly click-and-collect,” Weinswig says. “We believe that in time, the shifts we see in the UK could be replicated elsewhere as retailers seek to answer the question: How can stores flourish in a digital world?”

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Headquartered in Hong Kong, FBIC leverages unique relationships and information networks to track and report on trends and developments in China and other Asian countries. In addition, its New York-based Global Retail & Technology research team follows broader retail and technology trends, specializing in how they intersect and building collaborative knowledge communities around the revolution occurring worldwide at the retail interface.

Since its establishment in 2000, the FBIC (formerly known as the Li & Fung Research Centre) has served as the knowledge bank and think tank for the Fung Group. Through regular research reports and other publications, it makes its market data, impartial analysis and expertise available to businesses, scholars and governments around the world. It also provides advice and consultancy services to colleagues and business partners of the Fung Group on issues related to doing business in China, ranging from market entry and company structure, to tax, licensing and other regulatory matters.


CONTACT: Debra Hazel

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