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Leeds, Chelmsford and Banbury are among locations to watch in 2016

Leeds, Chelmsford and Banbury are among the locations with the most new retail space set to come on stream next year, according to research from property research consultancy CACI.

Victoria Gate in Leeds

Victoria Gate in Leeds

Victoria Gate in Leeds

Next year is poised to be a relatively quiet year in terms of new property developments compared to 2017, when more than 10 million sq ft of new space will come on stream. 2017 will see a series of major flagship developments and extensions in locations such as Westfield London, Westgate Oxford and The Lexicon Bracknell open to the public.

CACI forecasts that about half the amount of 2017 space will be available in 2016, across a mix of disparate schemes:

  • Leeds

Leeds will have approximately 37,000 sq m (398,264 sq ft) thanks to the new Victoria Gate phase one coming on stream, which includes a flagship John Lewis and a multistorey car park for up to 800 cars.

Hackett, Cos, & Other Stories, Anthropologie, Maje and The White Company have also signed up to open at the centre next year.

The northern city is also the location for the new Leeds Fashion Initiative, which launched in November this year but is expected to go from strength to strength in 2016. Led by concept store Lambert’s Yard and with support from Leeds City Council and Trinity shopping centre owner Land Securities among others, the project aims to support emerging fashion designers and re-establish the city as a leading centre for design, garment and textile manufacture.

  • Chelmsford

Chelmsford will unveil the second phase of its Bond Street development with 28,000 sq m (301,389 sq ft) of new space, which also includes a John Lewis set to open in autumn 2016.

When complete, the scheme will feature 20 new stores, restaurants, a cinema and a 275-space underground car park.

  • London’s West End

London’s West End will have approximately 28,000 sq m (301,389 sq ft) of new space in anticipation of the improved access provided by Crossrail in 2018, particularly around the new Tottenham Court Road Station.

  • Banbury

Banbury Gateway opened in October 2015 with retailers including Outfit, Marks & Spencer, River Island, Mountain Warehouse and Primark.

Next year retailers including Next and New Look are set to open at the shopping centre in early spring, bringing in the region of 27,000 sq m (290,625 sq ft) of new space.

  • Stafford

Stafford Riverside is set to bring 22,000 sq m (236,806 sq ft) of new space, with retailers including Marks & Spencer, Primark, River Island and H&M set to open in summer. The new retail and leisure complex, which boasts 18 new stores, restaurants and a cinema, in Stafford town centre will also feature a 1,000-space, 14-storey car park.

Key trends for 2016

Increasing polarisation between locations, new entrants and rising rents: The Local Data Company director Matthew Hopkinson discusses the biggest retail trends from this year as we move into 2016

Sunny high street

Changes on the high street

Changes on the high street

The face of the high street is changing as retailers like Edinburgh Woollen Mill, TK Maxx and Peacocks are growing their portfolios, while Dorothy Perkins, Claire’s and M&Co are closing some stores.

Will 2016 see any new fast entrants such as Pep & Co and what impact will this have on existing retailers?

Overall, our research indicates there has been a decline in the fashion and general clothing sector in 2015, with high streets and shopping centres having 3% fewer fashion and general clothing shops compared to 2014. The West Midlands is the only place to have seen an increase in fashion and general clothing shops in 2015 with the southeast, east of England and East Midlands having 4% fewer fashion and general clothing shops than in 2014.

Since 2010, there has been a 14.3% decline in fashion and general clothing shops in the top 650 UK town centres, which is the actual net loss of 2,587 shops.

I think the ones to watch are Next and M&S and how they are changing their store location profile away from high streets and shopping centres to out-of-town locations. What impact will this have on surrounding retailers?

It is also important to note the impact of new shopping centre schemes such as Grand Central Birmingham on other centres such as Merryhill, The Broadway Bradford on high street retailers in Bradford and Newport’s new Friars Walk shopping centre on Newport high street, but also surrounding centres such as Cwmbran.

With rents starting to rise, questions around business rate changes, living wage and price deflation, online sales and returns are increasing. While there are opportunities to be had, it remains to be seen how some of the marginal players will survive in their current form.

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