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Bluewater is still the leading UK shopping centre


Kent-based shopping centre Bluewater has retained its position as the UK’s best retail scheme, according to a tri-annual survey published today.

Metrocentre in Gateshead has remained at number two in the ‘Going Shopping 2011 - The Definitive Guide to Shopping Centres’ report produced by Trevor Wood Associates, whilst Westfield London in Shepherds Bush moved straight into third position.

Scores are calculated according to footfall, size, number and type of shops and facilities available, and this year has seen the emergence of a premier division of 27 leading schemes featuring St David’s in Cardiff and Liverpool One which came 70th and 79th respectively in the league table in 2008.

Trevor Wood, senior partner of Trevor Wood Associates, says: “It is encouraging that despite prevailing market conditions, most of the 500 leading schemes increased their scores, even if only marginally.

“This shows the understanding from landlords and tenants that long term success comes from sustained investment.”

Clinton Cards came top of the list of best tenants, the same position it was in the 2008 and 2006 reports, and also had the highest number of units out of the top ten with 279.

A profits warning was issued by Clinton Cards in January due to consistently poor sales, and the costs of sustaining so many stores must be playing a part in their recent struggles.

Trends identified in the report, which analyses over 900 schemes, include the growth in Sunday opening hours, with 95 per cent of the leading 500 and all of the top 100 shopping centres opening every Sunday.

Discount brands have also increased their stake in UK schemes, with Poundland undertaking the largest single occupier expansion but Shoe Zone, Peacocks and Card Factory all significantly expanding.

Food is playing only a small part in shopping centres at present, with 97 of the top 100 schemes being non-food dominated and 24,000 of the 32,000 retail units within the 500 leading centres are occupied by major comparison goods retailers or groups with turnovers in excess of £3 million pa.

Published on Tuesday 19 April by Editorial Assistant

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