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Retail Update - October 2014


Posted At: 27 October 2014 00:50 AM
Related Categories: Retail


No administrations have been recorded on SnapShop since our last update. However, subsequent to the demise of Phones 4U in September, EE is understood to have now snapped up its mobile business for under £5m in addition to acquiring a number of shops.

Continuing the ongoing theme surrounding the future of high streets, London Mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled a £9m high street fund with hope that small businesses will take a leading role in bidding for grants to boost their local London town centres; and in Cambridge, eight new start-ups have been testing their business ideas as part of the TestTown initiative from Carnegie UK Trust, trailing innovative ways to raise footfall in the town centre.

In a startling turnaround on previous years, more independent stores opened in the last year than closed, suggesting that Britain’s high streets are not suffering as badly as analysts have claimed. Shoppers turned to local outlets in record numbers, with net openings of 432 in the last six months. That was the result of 8,662 new independent retailers opening and 8,268 shutting their doors, according to the Local Data Company and the British Independent Retailers Association.

An interesting report by Harper Dennis Hobbs, The Vitality Index – which takes into account the quality of retail provision in a centre – has revealed that Westfield London, Chelsea and Knightsbridge are the most highly ranked retail centres in terms of vitality. Canary Wharf, Brent Cross, Richmond, Cambridge, Bluewater, Kensington and Bath are also in the top 10. In terms of the least 'vital' centres, Dudley, Llanelli and Morecambe rank lowest. The London centres both attract large volumes of retail spend and are dynamic destinations, with low vacancy rates and a vibrant retail mix. Malls also tend to feature highly in the vitality ranking, owing to the fact that they proactively manage their tenant mix.

As has been widely reported, 2014 shopping centre investment transaction volumes are set to eclipse those seen in 2013. According to DTZ research, 32 centres changed hands in the third quarter 2014 for a combined total of £1.65bn. This means shopping centre investment volumes so far in 2014 have reached £4.39bn across 63 shopping centres with a further £926m under offer.

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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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