Big four in the UK shy away from opening new stores

The drift in customer behavior and post Brexit economic worries has forced the “Big Four” supermarkets to table their plans for new stores in the UK. As per the figures compiled for The Telegraph, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons have only filed for one supermarket planning application each this year, compared with 20 two years ago. Since 2014, two third of plans to build new large stores have been shelved, the figures compiled by Barbour ABI reveals.

Two among these, Tesco and Sainsbury’s focused on their convenience store properties with 19 out of 20 planning applications opting for smaller stores. Asda, which struggles to grow in south east, still has applied for two supermarkets this year.

“These latest figures confirm that the large supermarkets are well and truly out of the ‘space race’ and that the strategy for them is now to focus on price competition and customer offer rather than increasing footprint,” Barbour ABI chief economist Michael Dall, who conducted the research, told The Telegraph.