Retail UK: Lights Out at the Mall
This article originally appeared in IPE Real Estate May 2017
Shopping centres specialists have been investing heavily in a changing world. But the outlook for the sector still looks gloomy. The rise of modern in-town shopping centres in the UK first gained traction in the 1960s with schemes such as the Bull Ring in Birmingham (which was redeveloped in 2003), and out-of-town schemes in the 1970s such as Brent Cross in North London. The explosion of development since then is the direct result of a shift in shopping habits favouring shopping centres over traditional high streets, many of which have been displaced. However, this trend in rental growth has slowed and may even be reversing, as physical retail sales growth and tenant densities have stalled for the better part of a decade now.