NEW STORES GETTING SMALLER: STUDY

WASHINGTON -- The median size of new supermarkets opened last year declined slightly more than 10% to 44,072, according to a study from the Food Marketing Institute, "Facts About Store Development 2001."fewer stores. The other 45% operated more than 11 or more stores.FMI also provided a breakdown of respondents based on retail sales: 55% had annual sales of less that $100 million; 15% had sales between

WASHINGTON -- The median size of new supermarkets opened last year declined slightly more than 10% to 44,072, according to a study from the Food Marketing Institute, "Facts About Store Development 2001."

fewer stores. The other 45% operated more than 11 or more stores.

FMI also provided a breakdown of respondents based on retail sales: 55% had annual sales of less that $100 million; 15% had sales between $101 million and $1 billion; and 30% had sales of more than $1 billion.

For the first time, the annual survey asked respondents if building energy-efficient stores was a top priority, and 83% said it was.

Other highlights of this year's report included:

The proportion of stores opened reached 4.9%, the second-highest rate in the past decade.

The departments most frequently included in new stores were seafood (100%), deli (96.6%), floral (96.6%), greeting cards (93.1%) and prepared food for takeout (89.7%).

Store closings continued to decline, reaching 2.4%, the lowest point in the past decade.

The rate of remodels increased to 5.5%, up from 5% the previous year. The most frequently added features in remodels were banks (21%), natural food sections (16.8%) and pharmacies (13.4%).

Median store-remodeling costs per square foot rose slightly, from $32.46 to $35.06.

Median new-store costs per square foot declined slightly, from $103.32 in 1999 to $98.26 last year.

Only 15% of companies own their stores, compared with nearly 40% just five years ago.

The average minimum rent for new stores in 2000 was $11.94, a slight decline from $12.31 in 2001. However, the average minimum rent for leases signed in the past five years was $8.44 per square foot, compared with only $4.90 per square foot for leases signed more than 10 years ago.