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Analysis: Is boring large format retail finally over?

Ikea is continuing to invest in bricks-and-mortar in 2021. Image: Supplied
The pandemic has a lot to answer for, but the need for large-format (or big-box) retailers to shake up their business models isn’t one of them, given they were already feeling the winds of change before the world was turned upside down. In 2019, Morgan Stanley found that only three out of 22 Australian big-box retailers experienced sales-per-square-metre growth that exceeded operational costs. Before the pandemic, e-commerce adoption and widescale changes to consumer behaviours drove a shift i