Trevor Wood and Associates unveil The Definitive Guide to Shopping Centres for 2022
After a year’s hiatus, retail and leisure property analyst Trevor Wood and Associates has published its latest edition of The Definitive Guide to Shopping Centres for 2022. The annual review ranks shopping centres around the country on their attractiveness to shoppers, retailers, and investors by gathering and confirming detailed information on every UK retail scheme thought to be larger than 50,000 square feet.
The review brings together selected features deemed important by these three groups, including tenants, lettable area, type of scheme, weekly footfall, and available facilities, and converts them into a points system to cumulatively determine the ‘most attractive’ retail destinations in the country. The guide also ranks the top investment managers, managing agents, letting agents, tenants, outlet centres, and shopping parks.
The results were achieved by sending out questionnaires to centre managers, owners, investment managers, letting agents and managing agents of every known scheme thought to be larger than 50,000 sq ft to confirm information about the schemes. This was combined with other information including desk research, Government business surveys, tenant turnover figures, and elements that were deemed attractive to shoppers such as the presence of integrated transport links, high levels of retail activity, and facilities such as a food court or crèche.
For the third year running, Westfield London has come out on top as the leading shopping centre in the United Kingdom. The Shepherd’s Bush scheme is by far the largest retail destination in the country, covering over 2.6 million sq ft, the next two largest schemes being The Trafford Centre in Manchester (1.947 million sq ft), which fell one place to sixth in this year’s ranking, and Westfield Stratford City 91.9 million sq ft), which held the top spot in the rankings until it was overtaken by Westfield London in 2019, proving that size does not matter – but it definitely helps.
Bluewater in Kent and Meadowhall in Sheffield held fast in third and fourth place in the rankings. Metrocentre in Gateshead rose to fifth place, Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock stayed strong in seventh, Manchester Arndale and St David’s Cardiff switched places now eighth and ninth respectively, and centre:mk (who are profiled in this week’s issue) rounded out the top 10.
Notable moves outside the top 10 include: Liverpool one jumping two places from its 2020 position to number 11; Victoria Centre in Nottingham rising three spots to number 27; former intu Braehead centre entering the top 30 at number 30; Oxford’s Westgate Shopping Centre and Clyde Shopping Centre in Clydebank both rising four spots to 32 and 38 respectively; and Edinburgh’s newly launched St James’ Quarter arriving just inside the top 50 at number 50.
Every scheme within the top 50 is recognised by the guide as comparison dominated – meaning its tenants predominantly sell goods such as household items, electrical goods, clothes and shoes and other non-essential items. Only one scheme within the top 100 was recognised as convenience dominated – meaning it predominantly sells essential goods. The convenience led centre was Manor Walks Shopping Centre in Cramlington, whose anchor tenants are Sainsbury’s and ASDA.
The guide also took note of schemes in development and destinations looking to carry out significant extensions in the years ahead, with 28 new or improved schemes currently proposed and deemed likely to proceed by 2027, including six extensions.
Schemes in development include Chester Northgate in Chester, Victoria Square in Woking, Heart of the City II in Sheffield, the Battersea Power Station development, and West Way Square in Botley, Oxford. Extensions in development include Meadowhall in Sheffield to add 330,000 sq ft, Vicarage Field Shopping Centre in Barking which will add 300,000 sq ft, and Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough which is to increase in size by over 77,000 sq ft.
The top five leading outlet centres reported in the guide are: Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet Centre, Bicester Village, Livingston Designer Outlet, York Designer Outlet, and Swindon Designer Outlet. The top five leading shopping parks are: Fort Kinnaird in Edinburgh, Glasgow Fort in Glasgow, Fosse Shopping Park in Leicester, Parkgate Shopping in Rotherham, and Rushden Lakes Shopping Park in Rushden.
A league table of direct property ownership features in the guide, revealing that London & Cambridge Properties rose five spots to become the leading direct property owner in the UK. The rest of the top five was unchanged from 2020 with NewRiver REIT in second, followed by Landsec, British Land, and Hammerson. The top 20 league table saw five new entrants, with the highest new entry by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board which landed at number 12.
The leader board for the top 20 managing agents remains unchanged since 2017, with Savills topping the list as manager of eight of the top 20 schemes, followed by JLL, Workman, CBRE, and Lambert Smith Hampton. LCP Management has seen a steady climb in recent years, rising two more spots to number six in the latest ranking. Two new managing agents also entered the top 20: Gatehouse Property Management and FI Real Estate Management at 17 and 19 respectively.
Savills also took the top spot as the leading lettings agent in 2022 for the third year running, despite losing 13 instructions since 2020. Since the 2020 results, Barker Proudlove rose from third to second, switching places with Lunson Mitchenall. JLL and Cushman & Wakefield also switched places, now fourth and fifth respectively.
In terms of brands, Costa was deemed the most desirable tenant, marginally beating Card Factory despite the latter occupying more units in retail destinations across the UK. In third place was Boots, followed by Greggs, EE, and Holland and Barrett. Brands that saw the largest presence increase since 2020 are Hays Travel, which opened 92 units, followed by Thérapie Clinic, which opened 22 units, Suits Direct with 13 new openings and JD sports with 12 new stores.
The biggest drops in brand presence were those who exited the high street. Those who left behind the most vacant units were: Carphone Warehouse, Top Shop, Debenhams, Bright House, and Thorntons.
This was first published in Retail Destination Fortnightly. Click here to subscribe.