Retail Parks In The South Outperform Rivals

July 10, 2012

Retail parks in the south of England are performing better than their rivals in other parts of the country, property consultancy Trevor Wood Associates has revealed.

The retail specialist has published its 13th annual Definitive Guide to Retail & Leisure Parks, which shows that only 7.8% of space on retail parks in the south of England is empty. This is better than the national average, where 9.2% of retail warehouse space is empty.

It also found that Castlepoint Shopping Park in Bournemouth remains the largest shopping park in the Britain; and Southampton’s WestQuay has the country’s fourth-highest concentration of retail warehousing space.

Falling consumer confidence and lower levels of spending across Britain means that some retailers have gone bust, closed some of their shops, or withdrawn from the market. These include famous names such as Habitat, Allied Carpets and DIY chain Focus.

However, growth among budget retailers and other fast-growing out-of-town chains has helped to fill those vacant units. For example, DIY retailer B & Q grew the amount of retail space that it occupies in the UK by 5% in the last year, and now runs almost 360 shops.

Other retailers growing fast on Britain’s retail parks include homewares retailer The Range, arts and crafts chain Hobbycraft, Argos, New Look, Matalan and Pets at Home.

Trevor Wood, senior partner at Trevor Wood Associates, says: “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 stores that have ceased trading, and which are easily accessible. More and more out-of-town retail parts resemble a traditional high street without some of the negative aspects.”

The Definitive Guide to Retail & Leisure Parks report analyses 1,500 retail parks, shopping parks, leisure parks and retail warehousing developments across the UK, including those expected to open between now and 2018.

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