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Retail developments decline for seventh consecutive year…

According to a new report published by the commercial law firm, EMW, new retail development applications declined by nine per cent in the past year; with a total of 6,700 applications made in 2015, down from 7,360 in 2014.

The sharp decrease in 2015/2016 indicates a fall for the seventh consecutive year and is down by 44 per cent of the number of the pre-recession peak of 11,900 recorded in 2008/2009. EMW said that despite bricks-and-mortar retailers increasingly expanding their online services, many were still failing at the competition with online-only retailers such as ASOS and Amazon. In addition, the law firm also notes that the recent decline of traditional retailers, such as the Morrisons’ convenience store chain, My Local, as well as Austin Reed and BHS, were in part caused by the continued success of online-only brands.

Principal at EMW, Aimee Barrable, commented: “Recent high profile closures will lead to more retail space becoming available on the market. Those retailers still looking to expand their high street presence might look to acquire some of these recently vacated stores instead of applying for any new retail developments.”

She continued: “Also, it may be that many retailers wait before committing to any new shop developments until they have a clearer picture of the economy in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.”

Read more from Aimee Barrable and on the report here