Out-of-town retail has become a shopping success story in the South West, according to a report from commercial property specialist Colliers International.
It shows there is just over 1 million sq ft of out-of-town shopping space – known as retail warehousing - coming through in the South West over the next three years, and some of the most significant schemes are in Devon and Cornwall.
The annual Colliers International Midsummer Retail Report (MSRR) shows that major schemes at Truro and St Austell are expected to open in 2018 along with the long awaited Ikea at Exeter. Bulky goods schemes are planned at Devonshire Park in Paignton and Plymouth Gateway Retail Park in 2017, and the report also anticipates the launch of the Kingsley Village Retail Park redevelopment in Newquay in the same year.
Nick Turk, retail director at Colliers International, said: “Across the UK, out-of-town shopping environments are increasingly popular due to their free parking, enhanced food offer and the ability to offer easy click-and-collect access.
“The market reports that there is good retailer demand for new out-of-town retailing space in strong locations. However, the schemes often face stiff competition from residential development. Last year, no new out-of-town retail developments were completed south of Banbury, which makes the number of new schemes scheduled to launch in Devon and Cornwall all the more significant.”
The Colliers report – which had its official South West launch at Showcase Cinema de Lux in Bristol - is the most comprehensive annual review of the UK shopping scene and monitors rents and empty shops across the country.
Of the 421 locations tracked by the research – 57 of which are in the South West and South Wales – rents in 78 per cent remained stable in the year to the end of April while they rose in another 17 per cent.
This year’s Midsummer Retail Report is entitled ‘Building the New Machine’, and examines how UK retailing and the commercial property sector which supports it are responding to the radically altered shopping landscape. Mr Turk highlighted Bristol, Plymouth and Truro as success stories.
He said Truro had been described as a ‘diamond’ town by a retailer looking for new stores, and that Colliers had seen a variety of new entrants wanting to take space in “this affluent capital of Cornwall”.
He said: “The retail warehouse market is all about latent demand with various developers with about 400,000 sq ft of potential retail warehousing chasing about 150,000 sq ft of tenants. The latest deal saw DFS pay £20 per sq ft at Threemilestone for a 16,000 sq ft unit for 15 years.”
The Colliers International report identifies strong retail activity in Plymouth, Devon, where a 100,000 sq ft leisure extension to Drake Circus is expected to launch in 2018.