Focus on Retail | September 2020

We have created a report looking at the retail market trends since COVID-19 and how this has impacted offers and viewings over the last few months.

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Since the onset of COVID-19 the operational performance of many convenience retailers has improved, with income increasing by an average of 40% year on year, as communities have recognised the benefits of shopping locally. This has led to an increased demand for stores and uptick in new buyer registrations on This sustained demand is also resulting in vendors frequently achieving or exceeding the asking price for their retail business.

Despite lock-down measures being put in place, Christie & Co have received a similar level of buyer offers to last year. This indicates that the interest of buyers to place offers on retail businesses has remained resilient, despite the disruption caused by COVID-19. Fluctuations are therefore likely due to changes in number of businesses on the market, as the average offers received per business sold is, on average, 12% higher in 2020 vs. 2019.




In the earlier period of lock-down, where businesses focussed largely on preparing for and adjusting to safety measures, and general health uncertainties saw the UK staying home, Christie & Co saw a decline in business viewings from prospective buyers. Since, and notably so in recent weeks as restrictions continue to be lifted, overall viewing numbers have picked up significantly, where the volume in recent weeks have exceeded that of last year. Overall, this highlights the strong appetite for retail businesses sold through our network.



The retail market continues to generate interest from a wide variety of potential purchasers, many of whom are attracted by the satisfaction of working for themselves, the profit potential and revenue stability afforded by both the convenience retail and petrol forecourt sectors, and in some cases by on-site accommodation that can function as either a family home or as an additional income stream. As such, depending on the business, we continue to see healthy demand from first-time buyers, expanding regional and local operators, as well as national groups.

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