UK shopping centre development pipeline for 2012 is lowest since early 1960s
2 Apr, 2012, London
Shopping centre development in the UK has slowed to a crawl with the total 2012 pipeline forecast to be just 31,500 sq.m, the lowest annual figure since the early 1960s, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Only one new scheme, the Swan Shopping Centre in Yardley (15,600 sq.m), which opened in February 2012, is included in this year's pipeline. Nine extensions, including the MetrOasis food court at the MetroCentre in Gateshead, make up the remainder.
The amount of new shopping centre space added to the market last year was up 14% on 2010, with provision increasing by 276,000 sq.m. However, this figure is massively skewed by Westfield Stratford City which increased total space in the capital by 10%. At 176,500 sq.m, the scheme is now the largest in London and the second-largest in the country, after the MetroCentre in Gateshead.
Only two other new shopping centres opened in 2011: The Parkway in Newbury (27,400 sq.m) and Trinity Walk in Wakefield (46,500 sq.m). This is in sharp contrast to previous years: between 2001 and 2010, an average of nine new shopping centres were completed annually.
On 1 January 2012, total shopping centre space in the UK stood at 16.4 million sq.m across 700 schemes. Gross Lettable Area (GLA) per 1,000 inhabitants was 261.6 sq.m, up from 259.0 sq.m on 1 January 2011, and above the EU-27 average of 246.6 sq.m.
Around 170,000 sq.m of new space is in the pipeline for 2013, including Trinity Leeds (75,900 sq.m), New Square in West Bromwich (43,900 sq.m), and the Whiteley Shopping Centre (27,900 sq.m) on the site of the former Whiteley Village factory outlet centre in Fareham.
Toby Sykes, Retail Partner at Cushman & Wakefield, said, "Development is expected to continue at a restrained pace for the foreseeable future. While selected retailers are expanding, on the whole occupiers remain cautious against a backdrop of sluggish retail sales and low consumer confidence. We continue to advise many landlords on refurbishments and extensions on existing schemes to improve tenant mix, and on revitalizing catering facilities to increase shopping hours."
Kristina Gorkovskaya, Research Analyst in Cushman & Wakefield's European Research Group, said, "Development projects that are likely to remain viable and in demand are those in prime locations in major cities where there is an undersupply of shopping centre space and a large population."
UK Shopping Centre Growth 1991-2013