Prime retail pulls ahead

Published:  28 June, 2017

Step-change for UK shops market as sector polarises

In the past 12 months, the UK shopping sector has experienced a step-change as the polarisation between strong and weak retailing pitches has become more pronounced according to Colliers’ latest Midsummer Retail Report. Although average prime rents and the overall level of empty shops have improved slightly, the gap between the best and worst retailing locations has become more pronounced.

Colliers’ head of UK retail, Mark Phillipson, said: “UK prime retail rents are up 1.8 per cent year-on-year – the best increase since 2008 while prime shop vacancy is down 0.2 per cent – the first nationwide improvement since 2014.

“But the proportion of the 420 locations we monitor which saw rents fall more than doubled, while the volume of shops that have been vacant for more than a year increased by 20 per cent. Both these measures had been previously improving during the past two years, and this reverse signals a step-change which is widening the gulf between the best and the rest.”

The strongest performing retail market was Scotland where top rents increased by 4.5 per cent year-on-year.

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