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The history (and future) of the grocery store

Slate just published a new thought piece on the evolution of the grocery store. It starts with the first “self-service” Piggly Wiggly in Memphis (an innovative approach at that time) and ends with the important functions that grocery stores serve today and will likely serve in the future.

The shopping experience has become increasingly omnichannel (i.e. online & in-store), which means that grocery stores are in the midst of transforming from simple retail stores to hybrid retail and last-mile distribution hubs. (Related post here.)

All of this is central to how we think about this real estate asset class and we are to happy share it publicly in this new thought piece. Slate plans to publish more of these and so, if you’re interested, I would encourage you to subscribe at the bottom of the page.

Full disclosure: I am personally long Slate Grocery REIT.

1 Comment so far

  1. Michael Gordon

    I have been following the history of grocery stores for some time and appreciate the information in the Slate presentation.

    It does miss the emergence of smaller grocery stores (+/- 10kft2) often owned by chains that fit into mixed use buildings in walkable rather than car dependent neighbourhoods. For example, look at Nestor’s owned by the Pattison group that are found in medium to high density neighbourhoods. They fit into a hierarchy of modest to very large grocery stores.

    Also, the article misses out on the niche of groceterias owned by families many of whom immigrated to Canada. One of the amenities of living in walkable neighbourhoods is these ‘non-chain’ food stores. Regrettably, the development community generally pass on having them as tenants and choose chain stores.

    In any case, thank you for covering this very important topic – food in neighbourhoods!

    Like

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