Shopping Centre Developments Resume as Demand Strengthens

Posted on 24 June, 2013 by MOVEHUT

Shopping-centre developments across Britain are restarting for the first time since the onset of the financial crisis, delivering a timely boost to the economy.

New projects have been on hold amid concerns that economic conditions would curb demand from retailers for new shops. This reduced developments to a 10-year low.

However, projects in Glasgow, Oxford, Leeds, Bradford and Bracknell now look set to get off the ground after retailers such as John Lewis signed up to be the leading tenants, according to property agent CBRE.

A total of 40 per cent of the new projects are in London and are part of the largest development growth in a generation as schemes such as Battersea Power Station, which have been set aside for at least a decade, finally get underway.

Other schemes in London include the redevelopment of the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon by Hammerson and Westfield, and developments at Wembley, Kings Cross and Earls Court.

Head of shopping centre development and leasing at CBRE, Mark Disney said: “Development activity in London and the South East began to lift markedly a year or so ago.

Now, finally, we are beginning to see some signs of recovery in the major metropolitan centres as well. The major retail developers are all working on schemes either to extend and refurbish their existing centres or to develop new ones.

“Retail demand is strengthening from multiple retailers who are looking for larger units in centres which can effectively showcase their products and enhance their brand.”

Separately, a new report found that out-of-town retail areas saw a 1.2 per cent growth in footfall last month, compared with the same period in the previous year.

However, the performance of other shopping destinations was weaker, according to the latest study by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard. Footfall in UK high streets fell 1 per cent in May, while shopping centres saw a 1.7 per cent drop.

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