“Small Format” — the next big thing?

I would argue that “the next big thing” may turn out to be small-format stores, whether in food or non-food retailing. The idea behind “Fresh & Easy” (tightly edited assortments, convenient locations) has application to all sorts of businesses. Think of the newly announced “C-store” version of Office Max as a good example, allowing Office Max to spread its best-selling and most frequently-shopped items into smaller footprints. (These have the advantage of lower cost and site development along with the sort of ubiquity connected to successful stores like Walgreens.) The era of the “big box” isn’t over by any means, but also-ran players are falling by the wayside rapidly.

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