The owner of Brent Cross Shopping Centre in north London and Birmingham’s Bullring retail complex has reported that like-for-like sales were up 1.5 per cent year-on-year in the period between January 1st and April 28th.
An interim management statement from property company Hammerson, published today, said that sales were ahead of the national benchmark - with demand for space remaining strong.
Fashion retailers currently dominate the UK shopping centre landscape, and Hammerson secured a number of new lettings of this type for its properties across the UK during the latest trading period.
Phase Eight and TM Lewin have arrived at The Oracle in Reading and Jaeger is now letting space at Brent Cross, while Swatch and Primark have signed up at Southampton’s WestQuay and Peterborough’s Queensgate respectively.
Robert Goodman, the Director of Land Securities owned shopping centre One New Change in London, recently told Retail Gazette that food and fashion is the key combination for his retail hub, and it appears that Hammerson is also seekign a similar mix.
Today’s statement indicates that Hammerson has continued focusing on its catering offer in the last few months, with construction beginning on its new restaurant quarter at the Bullring and a plethora of new restaurants opening at other sites.
As of March 31st 2011 the occupancy level at Hammerson’s UK retail portfolio was 96.8 per cent, which is actually down 0.5 per cent on the figure reported at the end of 2010 and slightly below the group target of 97 per cent.
David Atkins, CEO of Hammerson, said: “Whilst the economic backdrop for consumers remains difficult, we are seeing the benefit of our focus on regionally dominant shopping centres and convenient retail parks, which continue to attract successful retailers.”