2016 was quite a year. With Trump, Brexit and everything in between, there was plenty to talk about. This was also true within the Retail and Leisure market, with plenty of things hitting the headlines. Things that got us talking last year were; the closure of BHS stores, the continued growth of the Leisure market, the come-back for independent businesses and of course, the ‘other B word’ – business rates.
The 15th Retail and Leisure Summit provided attendees with a snapshot of what effect all this political and social activity had on the health of retail locations across GB, based on LDC's data. Whilst there was good news in the form of decreased vacancy rates, there was a slump in the number of shops opening from around March – July last year. This could be related to trepidation over Brexit and what immediate impact this would have across GB, especially as the second half of the year began to recover these numbers.
Matthew Hopkinson, Director at LDC also spoke about other topical issues, such as analysis of business rates increases, how a rise in online retail does not necessarily mean death for our bricks and mortar stores, the risers and fallers of the year and fortunes of locations, both by individual towns and location types, as retail parks, shopping centres and town centres all have very different growth trajectories.
See the video below for Matthew’s summary of the event.