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News Release


25 per cent of UK retail sales will be online by 2020, says retail property industry

London, 30th November, 2012 - A quarter of all retail sales in the UK will be online within seven years, due to the inexorable rise of so-called ‘m-commerce’, according to the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC).

The latest BCSC report, The Rise and Rise of Multi-Channel Retailing, produced in conjunction with professional real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, also states that 20 per cent of current UK retail space may be surplus to modern retail requirements as retailers look to develop property portfolios that complement their e-retailing operations.


The report outlines that the changes are expected to affect town centre locations more acutely than large out-of-town shopping centres. While drive-to ‘destination’ retailing hubs – Westfield Stratford, Bluewater, Meadowhall - will continue to play to our strong social needs by offering an experience, leisure facilities and a ‘day out’, town centres risk losing more trade to online players.
The effect on employment is also significant, with one in ten of the nation’s private sector workers within the retail industry.
Peter Drummond, President, British Council of Shopping Centres:
“There is now a shared understanding across the country that we are at a pivotal point in the way we treat town centres. More flexibility is required to make current shops meet the modern needs of retailers or to allow new uses altogether and there is a need for clear town centre vision and strategies, and consistent planning policies that respond to today’s structural change.
Moreover, where investment is forthcoming in town and city centres, business rates exemption zones should be introduced to investment in outdated town centre retail property. These are critical considerations we hope the Chancellor can respond to in his Autumn Statement.”
The Rise and Rise of Multi-Channel Retailing was produced in conjunction with professional real estate firm, Jones Lang LaSalle and with contribution from more than twenty of the UK’s leading retailer and landlords including John Lewis, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Harrods, Lend Lease and Hammerson.