International retailers find growth in UK shopping centres
New figures have revealed that the number of shops in UK shopping centres trading as multiples has increased in the last year.
The latest vacancy monitor from British Council of Shopping Centres and the Local Data Company shows a 1.3% rise in the number of ‘multiples’ and the same percentage drop in the number of independent shops.
The report said the rise in multiples has been helped by an emerging trend whereby new international retailers - considered ‘independent’ here in the UK at the same time last year - have successfully expanded to ‘become a ‘multiple’.
The monitor also reported an overall drop in vacancy rates across UK shopping centres, with vacancy rates at smaller shopping centres declining by 0.3% year-on-year amongst the top 100 centres and by 0.4% across all centres. Meanwhile, the top 30 largest shopping centres in the UK recorded a 0.8% rise in vacancy year-on-year.
The areas with the largest decline in vacancy rates were the South East, with a 1.7% drop, followed by the North West where vacancies fell by 1.3%
Elsewhere, the West Midlands, East of England and the East Midlands experienced declines of 1.1%, 0.7% and 0.2% respectively.
Edward Cooke, director of policy and public affairs at British Council of Shopping Centres, said: “Overall, this data tells a positive story for shopping centres in England and Wales and it is encouraging to see the North West showing such a strong decline in vacancy ahead of our return to Manchester in September for this year’s BCSC Conference.
“The success of new international retailers who have chosen shopping centres as locations for their first UK stores and grown to open more stores in the last twelve months is evidence of how shopping centres provide ideal hubs for international retailers looking to break into the UK market.
“The benefits of a shopping centre location to an international retailer are considerable. From day one the centre’s existing footfall, professional management and the established consumer brand of the centre itself all serve as advantages to a retailer starting out in the UK market.”
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