Challenges face Sweden’s high streets

The Swedish Property Federation (Fastighets├Ągarna) reports that retail sales increased in town centres by 2.5% in 2016, while total sales increased by 5%. High streets now account for just 20% of the annual value of all retail sales while malls and out-of-town retail parks have a market share of almost 40%.

In a study of 52 town centres, the federation finds that food stores, tobacconists, Systembolaget and restaurants and caf├ęs increasingly account for the small rise in high street sales and that new strategies are needed, as online sales take a greater share of the market. If town centres are to thrive, priority must be given to the construction of new housing and workplaces.