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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

Latest LDC research on the status of the BHS estate reveals over half still lie empty two years after the final closure

29 August 2018 by Sarah Phillips

The 28th August marked the two year anniversary of the final closure of high street stalwart BHS after 88 years of trading. Even though two years has passed, BHS is still a relevant topic for many, as the stores often occupied sizable units in prominent locations and acted as the anchor for many towns and cities. So, two years on, how many of these units have been re-occupied? Who is the retailer who has taken most of the stores? What is happening to these large-format stores? The latest LDC data, analysed by Senior Insight Analyst Ronald Nyakairu tells us everything we need to know about the estate today.

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What impact has the demise of Toys R Us had on the toy shop market?

15 August 2018 by Lizzie Bollada

The UK toy industry generates approximately £2 billion in revenue annually (Source: IBIS World). There are currently 1,079 toy stores in operation across the country, many of which I’m sure have seen a recent surge in sales as parents look to buy items to keep children entertained for the long stretch of the summer holidays. There are currently four main players in this market, these being The Entertainer, The Early Learning Centre, Toymaster and Smyths. Of the 1,079, these top four make up 433 of the total (40%) and then another 42% are independent shops. Openings and closures across these four companies have been relatively stable in the past 12 months, with any closures representing less than 5%. 

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Up for sale - the Hammerson retail park portfolio

07 August 2018 by Ronald Nyakairu

In July’s half year results Hammerson announced a change in strategy to shift focus more on their premium outlet and shopping centre schemes. To allow for this focus, they are expected to dispose of their retail park portfolio, selling off their 14 retail parks, the largest being the Central Retail Park in Falkirk and the smallest the Brent South Shopping Park in North London. With this news, I am going to use LDC data to understand the portfolio’s strengths and weaknesses as well as any potential opportunities for prospective buyers. My analysis will look at the occupancy rates across the portfolio, the LDC Health Index rating and the occupier covenants based on their historical openings and closures and the performance of their respective categories.

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Day-time vs night-time footfall flows - understanding changes in the 'night owl' economy.

01 August 2018 by Chris Fowler

As LDC’s network of footfall sensors continues to grow, it’s revealing ever more interesting and actionable insights about how our towns are used – especially in these turbulent times of change in both the retail environment and weather extremes, which have both had a strong influence in recent months.

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United Plates of America: The UK burger market

18 July 2018 by Katie Flanigan

Since as early as 1965, American burger brands have been establishing their presence in the UK with big names such as McDonalds, Burger King and Five Guys. This US staple has become a favourite for the British consumer, leading British entrepreneurs to adapt the cuisine to the tastes of the UK. So, who does it better - the US or the UK? I'm going to leverage LDC data to find out!

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Primark – what’s the secret to its success?

11 July 2018 by Sarah Phillips

Whether you pronounce it Preemark, Primark or Primarni, there is no doubt that you’ll have come across Primark – the value fashion and homewares retailer that has become a staple of British high streets and shopping centres. Known for its quick fashion, basic styles and most prominently, small price tags, Primark has a distinctive offer within the fashion market, with many opting to love or hate the brand.

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[Guest blog] How digital activity turns online conversations into offline sales

04 July 2018 by Polly Barnfield, Maybe*

The #WDYT (What do you think?) campaign helps retailers, towns, and cities to collaboratively improve their digital influence, which increases local footfall and sales.

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[Videos] Expert opinion on the retail and leisure market

20 June 2018 by Sarah Phillips

Earlier this month we held our 17th bi-annual retail and leisure summit. This year we were lucky enough to be joined by fantastic speakers from some innovative and ground-breaking organisations. We grabbed a few of our speakers after the event to quiz them on innovation, what retailers can do to survive in today's challenging market and their predictions for the next 12 months and five years. We've got their answers for you here:

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[Guest blog] Why the high street will win

19 June 2018 by Nick Brackenbury, NearSt

Today the world is awash with stories about the struggle in retail. How a perfect storm of price pressures from online, same day delivery, decreased footfall and increased rents are making doing business on the high street near impossible. I think we are on the cusp of a revolution though. One where the pendulum hurtles back towards high street retailers. Here’s why, and what I think this vibrant future will look like.

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Waitrose to increase its vegan product range, Westfield introduces plans for a new Japanese food hall and shoppers celebrate the royal wedding in style

13 June 2018 by LDC's Research Team

May was an incredibly busy month for everyone. For LDC as we ramped up for our 17th Retail and Leisure Trends Summit, for Harry and Megan who were busy planning a wedding, and for the retail and leisure market as a whole, who both enjoyed the fruits of an early summer and also mourned over the loss of some high street favourites.

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