November 16, 2017

Trevor Wood Associates’ Going Shopping 2018 – The Definitive Guide to Shopping Centres has for the sixth consecutive year named Westfield Stratford City as the leading UK shopping centre. The comprehensive research highlights the resilience of the nation’s top division of retail centres despite significant market pressures. Alongside its renowned retail rankings, this year’s guide provides new analysis of anchor tenants and a more detailed review of the development pipeline.

In its 30th anniversary year, retail consultancy Trevor Wood Associates has published its most comprehensive research into the UK’s shopping centre market. The flagship report, Going Shopping 2018, reflects tough market conditions, with most schemes seeing their scores fall since last year. Yet the top performing centres have largely retained their league positions, with Westfield Stratford City retaining top spot, followed by Bluewater, Westfield London, Intu Metrocentre and Meadowhall, whilst St David’s in Cardiff moved up to eighth place.

The 314-page report, which will be available from December, ranks all shopping centres over 50,000 sq ft by their overall attractiveness to shoppers, retailers and investors. Information on the 741 schemes was converted into points for features including tenants, lettable area, weekly footfall and facilities.

Although there have been few positional changes in the top echelons of the rankings, there has been more activity further down the table, including news that The Lexicon in Bracknell and Westgate Shopping Centre in Oxford both stormed their way into the top 50 schemes, with more units scheduled to open in each centre next year.

The highly acclaimed report also includes analysis of the occupier market. Costa Coffee is now the leading shopping centre tenant, with 286 units in 261 of the Top 500 centres. The other top 5 spots went to Card Factory, EE, New Look and Boots.

This year’s report incorporated a new set of tables looking at the top 500 centres’ most prevalent anchor tenants. Boots is the leading anchor store for both the Top 500 and Top 200 centres, with H&M second. The top two positions are however reversed when focusing solely on the Top 100 centres.

Elsewhere, Smiggle was named the fastest growing retailer with the addition of 33 units this year following the addition of 39 last year. Blue Inc shed the greatest number of units, with 23 fewer shops within the Top 500 centres than the previous year.

LaSalle Investment Management took over from Intu Properties as the leading investment manager for UK shopping centres, even before the recent Chapelfield deal. Savills retained its crown as the top managing agent, whilst Cushman & Wakefield managed to maintain its position as the leading shopping centre letting agent.

Other key findings include regional breakdowns of analysis, together with reviews and rankings of all 114 Shopping Parks, 39 factory outlet centres and 32 shopping and leisure centres.

Trevor Wood Associates’ assessment of the development pipeline is more detailed than ever and underlines the appetite of owners to continue investing in retail destinations despite the challenging climate.

A total of 84 schemes are thought likely to proceed before the end of 2024 and developments such as Whitgift redevelopment in Croydon, The St James’ Shopping Centre in Edinburgh and Talbot Green Shopping Centre in Llantrisant are already coming out of the ground. There are five fewer proposals than in last years’ analysis but this is largely down to the fact that 14 in the previous list are now open and trading

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