Retail industry sees decline in new shop planning applications

Posted on 25 July, 2016 by Steph Cowie

Potential new retail developments have seen a drop in planning applications, according to a recent report by EMW.

Retail Industry sees decline in new shop planning applications

In 2015, there were 6,700 applications for new shop builds, compared to 7,360 in the previous year. The lack of applications has seen a 9 per cent drop in the past year, resulting in a seventh decline in a row.

Before the recession, the year 2008, received 11,900 new shop applications. This has decreased by nearly half, resulting in fewer new retail units.

With the disappearance of traditional brands like, BHS, My Local, and Austin Reed, are e-commerce companies more appealing to the ever changing customer buying habits.

Online retailers, Asos and Boohoo, are effectively generating a large customer base, with their adaptable online shopping experience and every growing marketing campaigns.

Traditional retailers have expanded their online presence, but still they struggle to keep up with the online-only shops.

Aimee Barrable, EMW, commented:

“With online retailers continuing to win market share, high street firms have less of an appetite to open new shops, instead opting to develop online services or squeeze extra profits from existing space by changing the shopping experience or repurposing stores to act more as showrooms or collection points.”

With “recent high-profile closures” this could see retailers acquiring vacant retail units, rather than applying for a new development.

Leaving the EU, may also be a contributor, Aimee continued to say, “it may be that many retailers wait before committing to any new shop developments until they have a clearer picture of the economy in the aftermath of the Brexit vote”.

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