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Superstores face tougher times

OUT-OF-TOWN superstores are no longer a novelty and retailers will have to improve basic customer service, according to research published today. Retail analysts Verdict warn that the days of relatively easy growth from new store openings are over, but it predicts that superstore sales will still grow by 39 per cent between now and 2003, accounting for 43 per cent of all retail sales growth.

Verdict forecasts that 880 new superstores will open by 2003, almost half in the leisure, clothing and variety category: the DIY and grocery sectors are near-saturated.