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Sector not location decides retail’s winners and losers


Despite tough economic conditions multiple shop retailers which are currently thriving are doing so across all sizes of urban shopping area, according to a new report.

A study by Colliers International, a commercial real estate organisation, looked at how multiple shop retailers have increased their property portfolio since 1998 and where they have done so.

Across the four different sizes of retail centre electrical and household goods retailers have seen consistent decline in their outlet numbers, whilst mobile phone retailers have increased their presence.

Dr. Richard Doidge, Head of Research Consultancy at Colliers International, commented: “It’s interesting to note that the retail winners and losers seem to be the same, no matter what the size of the centre they inhabit.

“This suggests that there are many retailers which do not differentiate between different tiers of the shopping hierarchy when seeking locations to open or close stores.”

In total there are 7,426 more multiple shop outlets on the UK high street than in 1998, with smaller town centres seeing the biggest increase of 2,608.

Shop numbers have dropped from a pre-recession peak of 47,805 in 2008 to 46,496 in 2010, with all area seeing a decline in outlet numbers except in regional centres (shopping districys in major towns and cities) where numbers rose from 8,852 to 8,884 over the period.

Doidge added: “The study also found that despite the recent economic downturn the number of multiples have increased significantly across all four tiers of the retail hierarchy over the past decade, with the biggest percentage growth being in the smaller centres.

“Therefore talk of a ‘ghost town’ Britain is rather misleading. Nevertheless, there are obviously some centres that are experiencing long-term retail decline. This is attributable to local factors rather than national ones though.

“Turning this group of centres around will require innovative, bespoke solutions that full embrace local issues.”

In the boom regional centres it is mobile phone retailers, charity shops, convenience stores, chemists and clothing & footwear retailers which have had the biggest increase in stores, whilst books/toys/CD specialists, furniture & carpets retailers, newsagents, off-licences and electrical and household goods shops have seen the largest decline.

Published on Wednesday 17 November by Editorial Assistant

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