Limited new supply forces landlords to creative solutions
With vacancy in the retail warehouse sector down to historically low levels, the competition for ‘new’ units from an increasingly diversified occupier has intensified the need for retail park owners to come up with creative solutions.
The majority of activity throughout the Bidwells markets in 2016 has been focused towards the restructuring of units, with food and leisure operators increasing their presence.
Bunnings launches its first retail warehouse in St Albans
Following Wesfarmers purchase of Homebase in q1 2016, the Australian unveiled its first rebranded Homebase store in St Albans in Feb 2017.
The 67,000 sq ft store has increased the product offer by 40% from the Homebase brand and has almost doubled the workforce.
The rollout of the Bunnings brand will continue throughout 2017, with the next rebranded store also scheduled for St Albans in April.
Opening of new trampoline centre at Anglia Retail Park Ipswich delayed until early 2017
The expansion of the trampoline leisure experience has gained momentum with the proposed opening of a 50,000 sq ft trampoline and soft play are centre at Anglia Retail Park in Ipswich.
The centre, which was due to open before Christmas 2016, is expected to open in March/April 2017 at the former B&Q unit on the park and will feature 30,000 sq ft of trampolines and a 20,000 sq ft soft play area.
Permission sought for new retail park in Chelmsford
Aberdeen Asset Management and Exton Estates have submitted an application for a new retail and business park at the former Britvic site off Westway in Chelmsford.
The proposed scheme, to be called Clock Tower Retail Park will be anchored by a Marks & Spencer Simply Food and Aldi, with six further retail units.
Take up remains above trend for second year despite low levels of availability
Demand for units in Cambridge soars to highest level in nine years
Amount of h2 2016 take up by food retailers
Prime rents remain stable in 2016 but are expected to grow by 2.5% per annum over next three years
UK Retail Park vacancy rate at 5.9% at end of 2016
Average availability rate across Bidwells locations
Only one vacant 3,670 sq ft unit on the market at Templars Shopping Park
Take up is dominated by food stores as Aldi and Iceland take units at Watling Street
Nando’s letting at Cambridge Retail Park sees availability fall to 1,500 sq ft
Aldi take two units totalling 36,570 sq ft in h2 2016
Bounce take 50,000 sq ft at former B&Q unit on Anglia Retail Park
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