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You’ll find the latest news, opinions, market analysis and company updates here. We update the blog on a weekly basis and you can use the navigation on the right hand side to discover new and related blog posts

Playing it safe with Safeway: Morrisons bring retro brand back - but only into independent convenience stores

25 November 2016 by Sarah Phillips

News broke this week that Morrisons will be bringing back the Safeway brand after an 11-year absence from shoppers’ shelves.

Morrisons will produce Safeway branded food products which will be sold wholesale into independent convenience stores across the country from early next year.

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Meet our panellists for the 4th Scottish Retail and Leisure Summit in Edinburgh

25 November 2016 by Noelle Ghanem

We will be holding this year's Scottish Retail and Leisure Summit on December 13th in Edinburgh, which will kindly be hosted by KPMG.

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Matthew Hopkinson talks about the reasons some towns in Greater Manchester could be at risk of losing their M&S store on BBC Radio Manchester

18 November 2016 by Sarah Phillips

Following the announcement that M&S are due to close 30 of their larger stores selling fashion and homeware products to focus on their food offering, Matthew Hopkinson released a blog on how M&S might look at which stores they will close, with a list of stores that could be in danger.

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Vacancy rates in limbo as fourth quarter begins: Improvement has flattened – stays flat

18 November 2016 by Local Data Company

Britain’s retail vacancy rate has now varied from 12.3% by no more than 0.1% in the past eight months, decreasing just -0.1% in October from 12.4% in September.

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Ways a retailer can analyse its store portfolio in order to decide whether to open or close stores

14 November 2016 by Matthew Hopkinson

This week M&S announced that it will close 30 of its UK ‘department’ stores – this excludes M&S Simply Food. They currently have a portfolio of 30 stores of this format of which 41% are on high streets, 36% in shopping centres, 18% on retail parks and 5% elsewhere. This is not a overly large number of stores when compared to the likes of Next, New Look and Arcadia.

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The Story of The SmartStreetSensor Project

11 November 2016 by Noelle Ghanem

The SmartStreetSensor project is the most comprehensive review of footfall traffic in the UK to date. We have joined forces with UCL and the Consumer Data Research Centre to use data to help save the UK high street by analysing trends and patterns in footfall.

We only have 400 out of an available 1000 low cost devices left as part of this project, so get in touch with us soon so you don't miss this exciting opportunity. We've created an infographic to help to explain more about this project, and why you should get involved.

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Co-op at the centre of the community - [Portfolio Snapshot]

10 November 2016 by Noelle Ghanem

This week, the opening of the latest Co-op food store in Vimto Gardens, Salford in Manchester was announced in the news.

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Marks and Spencer – How can they achieve store estate optimisation in a rapidly changing world?

10 November 2016 by Matthew Hopkinson

The question that is most often asked or answered in the market is ‘how many stores should you have?’ In my view there is no exact number that is applicable to all but a number that is derived for each retailer based on their customer profiles, their sales channels, footfall conversions and the strength of their brand. Some may have the necessity to follow certain retailers and feed off their footfall, or conversely you might be a destination store in your own right. Recently at LDC’s 14th Retail Summit in London, the property director of Pizza Hut talked about this from his experience. For Pizza Hut the feeling was that 300 was a good number for a profitable operation for them. With over 100,000 stores opening and closing across the country, figuring out optimum store numbers is a challenge, especially when you then identify where the stores should be located for the next 10-15 years.

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Growth in independent High Street stores drives a return to the black for independent retailers across GB

01 November 2016 by Local Data Company

Data released today by LDC and British Independent Retailers Association (bira) shows that traditional independent shops opened slightly more shops than were closed in H1 2016 in Britain’s town centres, whilst the national chains continued to see a fall. Independent shops saw an increase of +4 shops (+0.00%) in H1 2016. This is a reversal from the net decline of -194 shops (-0.07%) in H1 2015. A net growth of +200 units in H1 2016 on the High Streets, was one of the main drivers in the growth of independent retailing in H1 2016.

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PwC/LDC openings and closures in Top 500 towns across GB in H1 2016

27 October 2016 by Local Data Company

Retailers closing 15 stores a day as the high street continues to reshape, says PwC and LDC.


• Lowest number of store openings since 2011
• Tobacconists, estate agents and jewellers thriving
• ‘Fintech’ advances see click and collect services booming

In the first six months of 2016, 2,656 shops closed on Great Britain’s high streets, a rate of 15 stores a day, PwC research compiled by the Local Data Company (LDC) reveals.

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