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Market Commentary

​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 03 April, 2017

​Tesco and Booker under scrutiny

Tesco could be forced to close hundreds of convenience stores amid concerns from rivals and shareholder groups over its £3.7bn Booker deal. Tesco is struggling to convince its main shareholders of the benefits of the merger, with some significant shareholders noting it would hand the enlarged business too much influence over the UK’s food supply. It is also considered a costly distraction from the turnaround of its core UK business. It is reported that Tesco and Booker plan to notify the Competition and Markets Authority later this month, which is likely to spark an investigation into the deal. Booker Group has announced positive sales performance in the 12 weeks to March 24, as LFLs rose 0.7% while total sales grew 0.5%.

Jaeger is poised to fall into administration this week, affecting the future of 25 stores and almost 700 jobs. Edinburgh Woollen Mill is reportedly on the brink of acquiring the fashion chain from private equity owner Better Capital, which has struggled to turn a profit since buying Jaeger for £19.5m in 2012. Jaeger is the latest retailer to suffer amid challenging trading conditions on the high street, as e-commerce, rising labour costs and currency movements post the Brexit vote all continue to bite.

In more positive news, British Land and USS have secured planning approval for the £400m regeneration of Eden Walk, Kingston. The proposed scheme will include 28 new retail units, 12 restaurants and cafes, a boutique cinema, as well as new homes, offices and public spaces. Councillor Kevin Davis of Kingston Council commented: “Once completed, Eden Walk will offer an attractive blend of retail, leisure and living space that is in-keeping with the character of our royal borough. It furthers our ambitions to make Kingston the dominant retail destination in south west London." JLL’s Asset Advisory team currently advise the USS retail portfolio.

Brexit begins: what are the key issues to watch for the property industry? Read our latest article here.​​

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