Just 1.5m sq ft of mall space is in due to complete in 2018, almost of all in extensions to existing schemes
Development activity at some of the UK’s best-known shopping centres is expected to add an additional 1.5 million sq ft of retail and leisure floorspace in 2018, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
Extensions to Westfield London, intu Watford and intu Lakeside are scheduled to complete this year, while the long-awaited extension at Brent Cross is set to begin, along with the redevelopment of intu Broadmarsh in Nottingham.
Although 2017 saw the opening of two new major schemes in Oxford and Bracknell just 1.3m sq ft of additional shopping centre floorspace was delivered in the year, significantly below the long-term average annual trend rate for the UK.
Cushman & Wakefield research also highlights the growth in leisure ‘experiences’ as landlords explored new ways to entice shoppers increasing their experience-led leisure floorspace, including formats such the Junk Yard crazy golf concept at Westgate Oxford. Demand from traditional leisure operators has also continued, with food and beverage brands accounting for almost 15 per cent of shopping centre leasing activity.
John Percy, head of retail development consultancy at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Leisure is a current focus but we expect much more varied mix of uses being part of all development and this will be critical to creating successful places. Landlords are quickly adapting to market trends and engaging with an increasing number of ‘experience’ led operators in order to entice shoppers offline and into their developments.”