CoStar Group has an interesting piece up about many retailers developing smaller concepts.
The prevalence of this "Small is Beautiful" approach has sparked debate in the industry over whether this trend is passing fad or a fundamental shift in retail real estate strategy.
A quick query of CoStar Property Professional's analytic feature combined with U.S. Census Bureau population statistics reveals the issue driving this trend. Total U.S. retail square footage per capita has increased to 15 square feet per capita, a 5% increase over the per capita figure of 2000 and a 20% increase over the per capita figure of 1990.
The retailer responsible for creating the most buzz of late about small format retail is Tesco, the U.K.'s largest retailer and operator of more than 2,800 (primarily grocery) stores in 12 countries throughout Europe and Asia. The company is rapidly expanding internationally, both through organic growth and acquisitions, adding 376 stores last year.