Challenges face Sweden’s high streets

The Swedish Property Federation (Fastighetsägarna) 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 cafés 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.