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28th January 2021


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International retailers find growth in UK shopping centres

The latest British Consortium of Shopping Centres/Local Data Company vacancy monitor has found the number of shops in UK shopping centres trading as 'multiples' has increased in the last year, with the data showing a rise of 1.3% in the number of 'multiples' and a corresponding 1.3% drop in the number of independent shops.

This is part of an emerging trend whereby new international retailers - considered 'independent' here in the UK at the same time last year - have since successfully expanded to 'become a 'multiple'.

The BCSC/LDC vacancy index also reports 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 0.4% across all centres. This decline in vacancy is all the more noteworthy given the Top 30 largest shopping centres in the UK recorded a 0.8% rise in vacancy year-on-year.

The index has also shown:

* The areas with the largest decline in vacancy rates were the South East, with a 1.7% drop, followed by the North West with a 1.3% drop.
* Elsewhere regionally, the West Midlands saw a decline of 1.1%, the East of England 0.7% and the East Midlands 0.2%.
* A marginal 0.2% increase in occupancy for leisure space is part of a longer term trend and shows shopping centre owners continue to respond to ever-evolving shopper habits and the consumer demand for all-day experiential destinations.

Edward Cooke, director of policy and public affairs, BCSC says:

"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 12 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."


15th May 2015

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