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Private equity warned off dying high street

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Speaking at last night’s In Focus Retail event, run by our sister publication Real Deals, Roger Pedder, the chairman of ECI’s Bargain Booze and the founder of Pet City, said the rise of the supermarkets and reduction of disposable income were among the long-term trends that would see only a select group of retail businesses succeed.

“There is less disposable income, the big supermarkets will continue to dominate the market, the high street is in decline and getting worse, and the internet is growing rapidly,” he commented.

Pedder said successful retail investments would be made in “imperfect markets in growing locations”.

Good investments would be in retailers that avoided direct competition with the powerful supermarkets, that held specialist knowledge in technical markets, had a strong internet presence and offered investors convenience.

“If you are investing in retail, those criteria should be at the top of your market research priorities,” Pedder said.

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