July 6, 2012
The expansion of budget retailers helped to reduce Scottish retail warehousing vacancy level to 10.7% (compared to the UK-average level of 9.2%) according to “The Definitive Guide to Retail & Leisure Parks 2012”, the lowest figure since 2007.
The Guide, compiled and published by independent retail consultants, Trevor Wood Associates, was launched in Scotland at a recent breakfast briefing co-hosted by Jones Lang LaSalle and attended by local property professionals.
Trevor Wood Associates were established 25 years ago and have published the Guide since 2000. The Guide provides a detailed review of over 1,500 retail parks, shopping parks, leisure parks and retail warehousing developments across the UK including those proposed to open by 2018. Key findings reveal that Home Bargains, B & M, The Range and Poundworld acquired over 1m sq ft out-of-town space between them during 2011 while B & Q increased its floor space by 5% on a UK-wide basis. The Guide also reports that despite the demise or withdrawal of leading retail names from the UK market, vacant floorspace remained at 9.2%. It attributes this to the fact that many of these vacant units have been snapped up by the rapidly-expanding budget stores in addition to other retailers including Argos, Dunelm, Hobbycraft, New Look, Next, Matalan, Pets at Home and Smyths Toys.
As Trevor Wood, senior partner of Trevor Wood Associates explains, “The demand for space from the budget retailers and some more traditional high street stores means the out-of-town market remains in general good health. These retailers have taken advantage of the availability of large shops (often vacated by stores that have ceased trading) and which are easily accessible. More and more out-of-town retail parks resemble a traditional high street without some of the negative aspects.”
A snapshot of the Scottish retail park and warehousing market reveals that these sectors are performing creditably in relation to other UK regions and, while rents are generally lower, vacancy levels within retail warehousing stand at their lowest level since 2007.
Other key findings relating to the local market list the top five owners of retail warehousing within Scotland as British Land, Hammerson, Threadneedle Property Investments, Pradera UK and Aviva Investors.
The Guide also lists Scotland’s top ten retail park tenants alongside the UK top ten:
|TOP TEN TENANTS IN SCOTTISH RETAIL PARKS||TOP TEN TENANTS IN UK RETAIL PARKS|
|B & Q||B & Q|
|Halfords||Pets at Home|
Montagu Evans were ranked top letting agent within Scotland, closely followed by Eric Young, Morgan Williams, Coates & Co and Savills. Montagu Evans were also ranked top managing agent within Scotland, just ahead of Savills, Workman and Jones Lang LaSalle.
In addition to its Definitive Guide to Retail and Leisure Parks, Trevor Wood Associates publishes “Going Shopping: The Definitive Guide to Shopping Centres” – an analysis of shopping centre and factory outlet developments across the UK, which covers over 900 schemes. The 2013 edition is scheduled for publication in November.