Retail

The term “retail” is used as a technical term in various industries. The banking industry uses the term “retail banking” to refer to standard operations with private individuals. Similarly, in the property industry, “retail” refers to retail properties, where bricks and mortar business sell their goods. Retail properties are classified according to size and location. Sizes range from small-scale (e.g. ordinary shops) to large-scale retail (e.g. shopping centres). Types of location include city centre, peripheral, community centre or “greenfield”.1 In addition to classification by size and location, retail properties are also broken down by form of operation. Thus, there are both solitary forms of operation, which are physically separate from other retail operations, and communal forms.
Solitary forms of operation:

  • Self-service grocery shops and self-service stores: Self-service grocery shops usually have a sales area of less than 200 m² (shops, e.g. corner shops, village shops) and 200-400 m² (stores, e.g. small, usually city centre supermarkets, e.g. Rewe City).
  • Supermarkets: food shops with a sales area of usually 400-1,500 m² (e.g. EDEKA, REWE).
  • Consumer markets: Self-service shops with a sales area of usually 1,600-4,000 m² and a non-food share of 40-45%.
  • Hypermarkets: Large self-service shops with a sales area of at least 5,000 m² and a large range of durables and consumer goods (e.g. real, toom).
  • Discount grocery stores: Self-service shops with a low price level and a limited product depth and range, with a sales area of 650-950 m² (e.g. Aldi, Lidl, Norma).
  • Specialist shops: consultation-intensive, sophisticated range, usually with small sales areas (e.g. bakeries, wine shops, photography shops)
  • Specialist stores: Large-scale specialist shops (e.g. DIY shops, furniture shops).
  • Large stores: Large-scale industry stores with a broad and deep range (e.g. clothing) with high consulting and service intensity (e.g. C&A).
  • Department stores: Large-scale with a broad but less deep product range. The product focus is on clothing, shoes and household goods (e.g. Karstadt, Kaufhof).

Communal forms include:

  • Shopping malls or shopping centres: Agglomeration of different retail and service establishments within a very large property.
  • Themed centres: Mixed sectors focusing on a specific theme (e.g. fashion, technology, food, furniture).
  • Galleries/arcade: Structural complex, usually connecting streets like a passage, grouping different retail establishments of small or medium size under one roof (special form of shopping centre).
  • Factory outlet centres: Agglomeration of retail establishments in greenfield sites that are operated by the manufacturers themselves and sell at correspondingly competitive prices.
  • Retail parks: Accumulation of different specialist stores or similar stores from various industries. Usually in a peripheral location with very good transport connections and large parking facilities.

Unlike other types of use such as residential or office buildings, the construction and property quality of retail property are of lesser importance as the shop fittings, façade designs, etc. are usually designed by the user individually.2

However, the development and establishment of new retail properties in Germany is subject to restrictions under the applicable construction law.


  • 1 Vgl. Sailer, Erwin; Grabener, Henning J.; Matzen, Ulf (Hrsg.) (2014): Immobilien-Fachwissen von A-Z. Das Lexikon mit umfassenden Antworten und Erklärungen auf Fragen aus der Immobilienwirtschaft, 10 Aufl. Kiel, S. 487.
  • 2 Vgl. Rottke, Nico B. (2011): Immobilienarten. In: Rottke, Nico B.; Thomas, Matthias: Immobilienwirtschaftslehre Band I. Management, Köln, S. 148-149.
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http://www.corpus-sireo.com/en/glossary/retail
: 17.02.2019