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London retail space to 'radically increase' in decade of development

London is set to benefit from a decade of development that will add some 10 million sq ft of retail space to the capital, a new report has said.

The Midsummer Retail Report, which is published by commercial property agency Colliers International each year and presents a snapshot of the retail market, predicts a major expansion of the capital’s shopping space and a shift away from high streets towards shopping malls.

Commenting on the report, Paul Souber, Colliers International head of Central London retail agency, said: “Historically, London’s shopping scene has been focused on its established shopping streets and locales rather than large malls, but more recently this orientation has changed with the advent of Westfield London and Westfield Stratford.

“The growth we’re going to see in the next 10 years is based on a massively increasing population and influx of tourism, particularly from China. The new centres being developed are like individual microclimates, with shopping, homes and offices to create the demand for the retail. As long as the tenant mix is done right these new schemes will soak up demand and will open up new shopping pitches in the capital.”

The report identifies a number of key projects set to be delivered in the coming years that will have a significant impact on the London landscape, including the second phase of Westfield London, which will extend the scheme by 550,000 sq ft, and Battersea Power Station, which will include 1.5 million sq ft of retail space.

The report also points to positive signs in the retail property sector, where rents have risen in prime locations for the first time since 2008, signifying increased retailer confidence and demand. Over the past 12 months average UK prime rents have risen 1.9%, the first yearly increase since 2008.

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