For the first time in almost 30 years, 2012 will be the first year to see no major shopping centres open in the UK, according to research commissioned by the British Council for Shopping Centres and retail property specialists Lunson Mitchenall.
The BCSC/Lunson Mitchenall 2012 Shopping Centre Development Pipeline found that no new shopping centres will open their doors to consumers at any stage during 2012, although the shopping centre pipeline will pick up in 2013.
It also found that retailer requirements have evolved with increased demand for bigger, better but fewer units in larger towns and cities. However, the severe lack of new space has resulted in a significantly limited choice for retailers, forcing them to choose units in out-of-town retail parks or expand internationally in order to grow. This adds further pressure to the UK’s struggling high streets and smaller towns, said the BCSC.
Marcus Kilby, managing director, Lunson Mitchenall said: "Although the pipeline for new shopping centres will pick up, the fact that 2012 will see no new openings is a stark indicator of how the retail market is evolving and responding to the economic crisis.
"Consumers still want to spend. This is indicated by strong internet sales and growing retailers are the ones embracing this evolution. However, there is still widespread recognition that shops must remain at the heart of the supply chain. The missing part of the jigsaw is that retailer requirements for these shops aren’t being met by the current stock and this is disappointing and troubling for UK retail."