British Land, a prominent commercial property company in the UK, provided positive updates on its rent collections and the performance of its retail parks. The company, which owns well-known malls such as Meadowhall and Broadgate, announced that it had collected 85% of the rents owed for June. The offices sector outperformed the retail sector in rent collection, standing at 71%. However, these numbers were significantly higher compared to previous quarters. British Land also disclosed that its overall rent collection for March currently stands at 91%, with offices impressively reaching 99%, and retail at 85%.

On the performance front, British Land’s retail portfolio showcased promising results. Footfall and sales in its retail properties reached 86% and 94% of pre-pandemic levels, respectively, in the seven weeks following the reopening of indoor hospitality on May 17. The company emphasized that visitors to the retail locations were spending more, especially in categories like jewellery, accessories, childrenswear, furniture, and homewares, which demonstrated robust growth compared to pre-pandemic levels.

However, the shining star in British Land’s portfolio was its retail parks, constituting 53% of its total assets. Footfall and sales in these locations surpassed pre-pandemic levels, reaching 96% and 99%, respectively, and continued to exceed expectations. The company also noted that the value of retail parks was increasing, with quarterly valuations revealing a 0.7% rise for the quarter ending in June. Since April 1, British Land has successfully leased 38,000 square feet of space in its retail parks, highlighting a strong demand from retailers.

Looking ahead, British Land unveiled plans to develop Thurrock Shopping Park, a purchase valued at £82 million, which exhibits “strong logistics development potential.” Simon Carter, CEO of British Land, expressed optimism about the future, stating that footfall and sales in their retail parks were approaching pre-pandemic levels. He also mentioned that rent prices were stabilizing and there was a growing interest from investors in the retail park market. Carter believes that retail parks will continue to play a crucial role in supporting retailers’ omnichannel strategies.

Useful links:
1. British Land Official Website
2. British Land Retail Portfolio