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Market Commentary

​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 02 February, 2015

UK remains leading retail investment market

The UK remains the leading European retail investment market, accounting for over a third of total volumes in 2014, ahead of other core markets, Germany and France. Preliminary numbers from JLL indicate that full year European retail investment volumes for 2014 will be in the region of €37 bn, a 39% increase over the €26.6 bn recorded in 2013 and the highest volume recorded since 2007. Jeremy Eddy, Director, European Retail Capital Markets at JLL commented: “Investment activity was healthy throughout 2014 as the availability of stock increased, going someway to satisfy the latent demand from capital that has been targeting the sector for the last 24 months."

In other positive news for the UK retail market, Waitrose has announced it will open 14 stores, taking its estate to 350. Half of the openings will be full-size supermarkets and the rest will be “Little Waitrose” convenience stores. Commenting on the announcement, Tim Vallance, Head of UK Retail & Leisure at JLL, said: “The continued growth of Waitrose’s sales highlights that consumers value the best choice in terms of range, purchase options, provenance and quality as much as price. People shop on and offline for 37 minutes a day, which means that time is a commodity and location of space is of prime importance.“

Meanwhile, Argos has unveiled plans to take more space, opening 10 digital stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets across the UK. The general merchandise retailer has teamed up with the grocery giant in a bid to “bring extra choice and convenience” to Argos and Sainsbury’s customers. Shoppers will now have access to both retailers’ ranges in selected Sainsbury’s stores, with the Argos digital stores ranging in size from 1,000 sq ft to over 5,000 sq ft.

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