Retail parks are proving to be a highly successful retail format, according to British Land, the owner of Meadowhall and numerous other retail parks. In their recent trading update, British Land highlighted several key factors contributing to the success of retail parks, including affordability, compatibility with omni-channel retail, and low capital expenditure requirements.

According to British Land, retail parks are continuing to perform strongly, boasting a 99% occupancy rate. They have also seen a 1% increase in footfall compared to the previous year and a significant 6% increase in sales compared to a year ago. In addition, British Land has completed 387,000 square feet of retail leasing, surpassing expectations by 13.5% and receiving offers for another 738,000 square feet of retail space, exceeding expectations by 17.7%.

The growth of retail parks is particularly impressive when compared to the struggling performance of traditional shopping malls. In recent years, retail parks have evolved from being dominated by supermarkets and DIY stores to offering a much wider array of retail options, including fashion and beauty. This diversification has contributed to their resilience in the face of economic uncertainties and the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simon Carter, CEO of British Land, expressed confidence in the company’s operational momentum, highlighting the success of their leasing activity. He attributed this success to their exceptional execution and the high quality of their portfolio.

British Land also emphasized its strong liquidity position, which is crucial during these challenging economic times. The company currently has £1.7 billion of undrawn facilities and cash, with no requirement to refinance until early 2026.

Overall, British Land’s positive outlook on the performance of retail parks suggests that this retail format will continue to thrive in the current retail landscape. The combination of affordability, omni-channel compatibility, and low capital expenditure requirements makes retail parks an attractive option for both retailers and consumers.

Useful links:
1. British Land – Retail Parks
2. Bicester Village named top shopping destination in the world – Oxford Mail