Manchester remains England’s premier shopping centre outside of London, according to the latest retail market research by global real estate advisors Colliers International.
The firm’s Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA) Retail Market Snapshot 2016 ranks Manchester and London as the key retail hubs in England alongside other market leaders worldwide such as Milan, Madrid, Paris, Dublin, Dubai, Amsterdam and Moscow.
Colliers’ research shows prime high street rents in Manchester rising by about six per cent in 2016 with shopping centre rents increasing by some eight per cent with both standing at about £163 per sq metre and yields of 3.85 per cent and five per cent respectively.
London remains the retail market leader in Europe with double digit rental growth, more store openings than in any other market and increased spending by both domestic and foreign shoppers.
David Fox, head of retail agency North at Colliers, said Manchester benefited from giving consumers a varied and complimentary retail offer to rival that of London, not in scale but in its range and originality.
Other key factors including the growth in hotels and tourism, investment in infrastructure and meeting the wider needs of a growing population also contributed to Manchester’s ranking in the report and its status as the capital of the Northern Powerhouse.
Mr Fox cautioned that the city continued to face major challenges by offering shoppers more of a retail “experience” in stores and addressing the issue of increasing spending online but the ongoing transformation of the city centre via the regeneration of historic buildings, new office and residential developments and bars and restaurants was helping to capture spend.
“As this process of diversification continues the years ahead should demonstrate strong returns for those investors who share the vision to innovate as Manchester evolves – consumer spending will match development growth and put the ‘r’ into etailing,” he explained.
Paul Souber, Colliers’ co-head of EMEA, said 2016 was the third year of consecutive growth in consumer and retail spending in Europe, driven by low inflation, an increase in employment levels and wages due to people having higher disposable income.
“We continue to see the influential impact technology has on the retail sector, and how it is affecting consumer behaviour, with payments and shopping via mobile devices still acting as the primary tools of change. The in-store experience still holds significant value to brands but retailers must continue to embrace technology within their marketing mix to drive sales. Understanding how people shop in individual markets is not only of relevance to local retailers, but also to those brands operating across borders.”