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Retail Update - September 2014


Posted At: 18 September 2014 15:00 PM
Related Categories: Retail, Retail Statistics, Town & Shopping Centre Management


One high-profile administration has been recorded on SnapShop since our last update –Phones 4U. Having lost a key contract with EE, soon after losing one with Vodafone, and despite being a profitable business, with turnover of £1bn and underlying profits of £105m in 2013, Phones 4U says without the contracts from the phone networks it can no longer operate. All 550 stores have closed.

The ongoing debate surrounding the future of Great Britain’s high streets has taken a new turn, with a group of property experts within the Government’s Future High Streets Forum looking to pilot a town centre collective ownership scheme among landlords. The aim is to tackle the issue of fragmented ownership on the high street, which had made it difficult to implement a single cohesive strategy to improve town centres and has been highlighted as a barrier. The parties are attempting to raise around £50,000 to pilot the different ideas in two to three UK town centres, such as a London suburb, a northern town centre and a small market town.

Britain's shop vacancy rate has fallen to its lowest level since June 2010 according to Local Data Company figures, which reveal that the shop vacancy rate in August fell to 13.3%, down from 13.4% in July. This is in contrast to the leisure industry which has seen its vacancy rate increase by 0.05% to 7.7% during the month.

Shopping centre investment volumes are on track to surpass the record levels seen in 2013. Figures from CBRE show that some £3.1bn of shopping centres has been sold so far this year, comfortably exceeding the £2.7bn transacted during Q1-Q3 2013. With a further £700,000 of malls currently under offer, Q1-Q3 2014 looks set to far exceed the transaction volumes witnessed in the same period last year and moves closer to the £4.2bn transacted in 2013.

Online sales of non-food products recorded their fastest growth rate in August since the BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor started in December 2012, growing at 19.8% when compared to August 2013. Research from Mintel backs this trend up, predicting that the UK online fashion market is expected to be worth £10bn this year. E-commerce is seeing a strong growth in sales as consumers prefer to shop on line - 17% of online spending is on clothing and footwear, up from 13% in 2011.

Interesting research from Savills reveals that new international fashion entrants have accounted for nearly half of all openings in London to date this year. Savills reports there have been 12 new international retail entrants in the London market so far this year, with a further 11 due to open by the end of the year.

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.


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