The Australian Large Format Retail sector is a relatively new form of retail with its roots being established in the 1970’s. Most categories within the Large Format Retail sector have a traditional homemaker focus and were previously represented in traditional department stores. Large Format Retail now comprises of more than a whopping 35% of all retail floor space. The sector began with the development of a stand-alone retail stores selling products such as furniture, floor coverings and other goods of a homemaker nature.
Large Format Retailing offers a depth of product range that is very attractive to the customer. The products sold in the sector are generally of a homemaker nature and this fits well with the Australian way of life particularly our love and the pride we take in our homes.
Not surprisingly, Large Format Retailing has emerged as a separate and extremely popular retail category in Australia. Consumers are particularly attracted to the high level of competition among retailers, and in particular the opportunity to compare prices and products in the one location on the one shopping trip.
Large Format Retailers tend to locate together in precincts, either within homemaker centres or in out-of-centre developments. This helps to further encourage destination shopping by Large Format Retail customers. Commensurate with the nature of Large Format Retailing, the premises must have sufficient load access (including semitrailers), accommodate large showroom and storage areas and provide adequate car parking facilities for customers.
The benefits of Large Format Retailing
LFRA, Chief Executive Officer
Not surprisingly, large format retailing is extremely popular with Australians who wholeheartedly support the concept with an estimated spend of $95.58 billion on items from Large Format Retailers.
Today’s large format retail consumers are particularly attracted to the high level of competition on price, range and service available form the various large format retailers.
And they’re destination shoppers, rarely combining shopping for bulky goods with trips to other retail categories such as grocery items, clothing and so on.
Not only do large format retail customers want low prices and easy access to retailers at the one location, they also demand parking facilities so they can travel by car and transport goods home themselves.
Consideration to public safety is of primary importance in all large format retail developments. Customer transport needs plus regular goods transport, loading and unloading requirements mean infrastructure must be designed around constant large as well as smaller vehicle use.
The Association is committed to working with all stakeholders, in particular the government, planners and developers to improve understanding of large format retail customers’ and retailers’ needs to create a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.
A big future
Technology is now entwined with all parts of our lives and the economy, and the retail sector is no different. The Large Format Retail sector has embraced technological changes enabling a seamless retail experience for the customer. Technology is not just an enabler of retail sales, it is used as an information and education tool. Thanks to online, customers are better able to make an informed choice on what they buy or where they buy it. An instore visit enables customers to often touch, and often experience the item/s they wish to purchase.