Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 30 March, 2015
UK retail sales grew more strongly than expected in
February, up 0.7% compared with the previous month, according to the ONS. After
released positive trading results for February earlier this month, the
ONS’s results followed suit, showing that compared with February 2014, sales
were 5.7% higher, boosted by the recovery in the housing market. Non-food
stores saw the biggest increase in sales by volume, in particular household
goods which lagged the effect of last year's improvement in house sales, as
people furnished and decorated their new homes.
Leading UK retail REIT, Hammerson, also announced this
week that the ‘Croydon Partnership’, its JV with Westfield, has acquired the
Whitgift Trust's 50% long leasehold interest in the Whitgift Centre. This
transaction gives the Partnership ownership of the shopping centre, alongside
its freehold owner, the Whitgift Foundation, and management control to
transform the Partnership's wider 2 million sq ft urban retail centre.
Two of the UK’s leading grocers have announced plans this
week to expand their convenience offer. Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe commented
that the retailer could double its convenience estate to more than 1,500
stores. In addition, Asda has now entered this sub-sector; the grocer has plans
to open 11 new stores in Greater London in the next few months with plans for a
further 150 nationwide by 2018. Two of these London stores will be Asda’s first
‘High Street’ stores, located on main thoroughfares in urban centres. These
moves are reflective of a wider
trend, we are witnessing in UK retail and beyond, whereby retailers and
investors are increasingly targeting urban centres, as consumers are moving to
and shopping in city locations.
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Director, Head of Retail Research (UK & EMEA)
+44 (0)20 3147 1155
Director, Head of UK Retail & Leisure
+44 (0)20 7318 7838
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