UK Town Centre Retailing sample pages


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Town centre returned to growth in 2013, the first time it grew since 2007, with growth set to strengthen in 2014 at +1.0%. This improved performance will be driven by the more needs based sectors, such as food & grocery, and the growth of fixed price retailers. Food has been especially buoyant as retailers have developed their convenience offer more and customer do more smaller, top-up shops. Learn more with these sample pages from our UK Town Centre Retailing report

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UK Town Centre Retailing sample pages

  1. 1. Verdict sample pages UK Town Centre Retailing page 2 Top 100 Town Centres & Malls Birmingham Fourth place in this year's survey goes to Birmingham, which has improved its score by nearly 10 points on last year. It has seen the greatest uplift amongst the top 10 in the proportion of multiples it has, with many retailers seeing it as a site for regional flagships. Recent examples of this include Forever 21 opening its first store outside of London within the Bullring. In much the same way as in Manchester, Birmingham benefits from a shopping centre (the Bullring) driving people toward the city centre, creating high levels of footfall for the surrounding area. The Mailbox, which is within walking distance of the Bullring, provides a more premium offer. Its success is demonstrated by the Harvey Nichols store recently doubling in size. Figure 1: Proposed development of Birmingham New Street Station, 2013 Source: Network Rail, Verdict V E R D I C T While Birmingham already offers two shopping destinations within the city centre, its future prospects are especially bright as it aims to develop under-utilised space. The Palisades is being modernised as part of the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station to Grand Central Birmingham and will be anchored by the largest John Lewis outside of London, giving it its first presence in central Birmingham. There are plans to link the Bullring, Mailbox and Grand Central together so customers can easily get between the three centres, providing customers with greater convenience and a wider range. The presence of the House of Fraser on Corporation Street and Marks & Spencer and Dixons Black on the High Street should also ensure that this link will not detract from other areas of the city. With these new developments, Birmingham will be pushing Manchester hard for third place in future surveys.
  2. 2. Verdict sample pages UK Town Centre Retailing page 3 Location comparison Retailer collapses and a weaker development pipeline have impacted town centre Figure 2: Y-o-y change in retail space by location (%), 2004–14e Source: Verdict V E R D I C T With the exception of 2007, floor space within town centre has declined every year since 2004, with a particularly sharp decline between 2008 and 2010. This was due to a number of high profile collapses, such as Woolworths, Zavvi and Rosebys. While this has created a significant amount of space, few retailers have looked to the high street for new stores, preferring the lower cost base or greater convenience elsewhere. While the aggressive expansion of pound stores has soaked up some of this capacity, a significant proportion of it either remains vacant or has fallen out of retail.
  3. 3. Verdict sample pages UK Town Centre Retailing page 4 General Merchandisers The sector is still feeling the ramifications of Woolworths' collapse Table 1: General merchandisers in the town centre, 2009, 2013 and 2014e 2009 2013 2014e 2014e on 2009 % General merchandisers specialists' sales £m 7,426.5 7,500.8 7,690.1 3.6 Share of town centre sales % 6.1 6.3 6.4 –– Source: Verdict V E R D I C T The sector is still reeling from the collapse of Woolworths in 2008 While general merchandisers have been relatively resilient during the downturn as they are less dependent upon the performance of one particular sector, the market is still feeling the effects of Woolworths' collapse in December 2008. It was one of the largest retailers on the high street at the time of its collapse, causing the sector to decline significantly as a result. Indeed, the repercussions are being felt now and will continue to be felt in the future. Figure 3: General merchandisers town centre sales (£bn), 2009–19e Source: Verdict V E R D I C T
  4. 4. Verdict sample pages UK Town Centre Retailing page 5 By 2019, the sector will still be 8.7% down on 2008 levels, the last full year that Woolworths was on the high street. While the sector has been supported by new entrants and the relative buoyancy of Wilkinson and Poundstretcher (which offers a variety of price points and, as such, is not classified as a pound shop), factors that have impacted the sector include the administration of other retailers such as Ethel Austin and the growing presence of the larger grocers in non-food and online. The full report is available to purchase in our store To find out more about the current opportunities in the UK town centre retail market, please contact Some of our channel reports: UK NEIGHBOURHOOD & CONVENIENCE RETAIL | VERDICT CHANNEL REPORT UK OUT OF TOWN RETAILING | VERDICT CHANNEL REPORT