Creating certainty in an uncertain retail property market
The retail sector is currently going through unprecedented levels of volatility. The economic downturn saw us lose household names Woolworths with more recent losses including BHS, Toys R Us and Maplin, to name a few. The recent pre-pack administration of Debenhams was a stark reminder that the sector is still massively disrupted by changing shopping patterns. Convenience retailing via out of town schemes and online traders offer people the ease of buying from their couch 24/7 and have led to an ongoing decline of the high street.
It’s not all doom and gloom however, many retail centres are now reinventing themselves as leisure destinations. One particular success story in Ipswich is the Buttermarket shopping centre, which once saw high vacancy rates and low footfall. Now rejuvenated as a leisure destination and approaching full capacity, the centre has become a magnet for lunchtime visitors and evening cinema goers alike.
John Birchall, MRICS, Associate Partner, gives us his insight into the retail sector. “Fenn Wright have seen similar stories across a wide variety of retail instructions; by thinking outside the box we’ve secured occupiers for a number of what were retail shops, now occupied for alternative lifestyle leisure uses, including nail bars, coffee shops and cafes. Understanding the aspirations of occupiers through an extensive database of applicants ensures that we mitigate voids as best as possible.
Alternatively, uncertainty may present itself in the form of an impending lease expiry. This uncertainty can be alleviated through sound lease renewal advice. Be it negotiating a lease regear to remove breaks or extend the term via a reversionary lease, to advising upon an expired or expiring lease renewal on your behalf. Market knowledge will give you the edge to ensure you achieve the best possible deal.”
We would be pleased to provide advice on a case by case basis if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.