Just a four and a half hour drive West from London will take you right into the heart of Wales, a country known for it's distinctive accent and own (quite tricky) language, rugged coastlines and beautiful sweeping countryside. In terms of locations, Cardiff, Swansea and Newport are the main cities in Wales which are likely to attract the country's consumers. Aside from Wales' similarities to English Retail (the rise of independent retailers and leisure occupiers), their retail landscape does look different. In H1 of 2016, Wales had the highest vacancy rate in town centres of England, Scotland and Wales, but the lowest shopping centre vacancy rate. They continue to struggle with persistent vacancy levels (units vacant for more than one year), however, overall, the decrease of vacancy was the fastest of all three countries.
With this in mind, we interviewed the Welsh Retail experts who formed our panel at our last Welsh Retail and Leisure Summit, which took place earlier this year. Experts included Chris Wade, Director at the People and Places Partnership Ltd, Andrew Highway, Town Centre Development Manager at Caerphilly Council, Will Evers, Investment Executive at London Metric, Polly Barnfield, Founder and CEO of Maybe* and Adrian Field, Executive Director of Cardiff BID.
The questions we put to them were:
- How does Retail in Wales differ to the rest of the UK if at all?
- What are the biggest challenges in Retail and Leisure this year?
- What are you predictions for UK Retail and Leisure market for this year?
Watch the videos below to find out what our experts said.
Chris Wade - Director, The People and Places Partnership Ltd
Andrew Highway - Town Centre Development Manager, Caerphilly Council
Will Evers - Investment Executive, London Metric
Polly Barnfield - Founder and CEO, Maybe*
Adrian Field - Executive Director, Cardiff BID