Over recent months, there has been a lot of negative headlines for the retail sector, with stores such as Toys R Us going into administration, New Look announcing UK stores will be closing and Carpet Right are believed to be also closing stores. All these recent headlines are adding to the sense of dread for those currently in involved in the retail property market.
One market does seem to still be thriving however, Northern Ireland which has recently faced a myriad of uncertainties from Brexit is proving hardy in the retails sector. New retailers in Northern Ireland include a mix of stationary, home furnishings and fashion brands. Existing retailers are also expanding their store outlets, including, Greggs, Specsavers, Superdry and Starbucks to name a few.
The main challenge retail stores are facing in any region including Northern Ireland is the huge rise in online shoppers and this is proving to have a great impact in the industrial retail sector. The end result is that a lot of retailers are closing their doors as they’re unable to keep up with the ease of online shopping.
Because of the online threat, many retailers are now realising the importance of giving customers positive, exciting shopping experiences and have been working closely with retailers to develop their stores. Stores such as Dunne Stores who are a fashion retailer have recently completed exciting revamps in two of their locations, Forestside in Belfast and Abbeycentre in Newtownabbey, giving customers a more positive shopping experience.
The Range, who supply home, garden and leisure products have recently opened a store in the Connswater Shopping Centre and apparently is due to open more stores across Northern Ireland, in Antrim, Belfast among some of these locations. This is a huge success for the retail sector in the local area.
No one knows what the future holds for the retail sector in general, although if the recent influx of new retailers and the bolstering of existing retailers in Northern Ireland is anything to go by the online retailers may still have a fight on their hands.
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