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UK Shopping Centres Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Shopping Centres market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Products covered in this Report

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has defined shopping centres as those with space of at least 50,000 sq m. This includes major shopping centres such as Westfield or intu Metrocentre.

Smaller, inner-city shopping centres are, however, excluded. This Report also excludes other shopping locations such as:

  • Factory outlets
  • Shopping parks
  • Small inner-city shopping centres

What you need to know

There have been notable changes in major shopping centres over the last few years, and while there have been no new out-oftown shopping centres built since the Bluewater centre opened in 1999, major shopping centres have become more prevalent in city centres, making them direct rivals to the high street.

The high street is indeed going through a tough period, with a rise in the number of failing retailers, as well as an influx of CVAs (Company Voluntary Arrangements), the role of the shopping centre as a place to entice shoppers has never been more important. Shopping centres are well placed to do this, particularly those that have been extended and refurbished, as they tend to attract a large range of exciting retailers, including many international ones, such as Australia’s homeware retailer, House, wanting to expand into the UK market.

Additionally, with online retailing becoming more of a threat to bricks-and-mortar retailing, shopping centres have been heavily improving their proposition. Shopping centres have certainly become more multichannel, with an increase in apps and clickand-collect services, as well as improving their leisure and food options.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Chana Baram, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The major shopping centres are undergoing a lot of change as the retail scene evolves. Many are turning their focus away from pure retailing and striving to become both shopping centres and leisure destinations for people to visit for a day out. This is particularly true in the centres that have undergone refurbishment, as they are managing to attract a wider range of retailers, food outlets, events and experiences. Chana Baram
Retail Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Vacancy rates on the rise
              • Decline in footfall
                • Figure 1: Year-on-year footfall change, by location, January 2015-April 2018
              • Popularity of online retailing grows
                • Figure 2: Internet sales as a percentage of total retail sales, 2008-18
              • Food and drink and beauty retailers increase store presence
                • Figure 3: Top 10 shopping centre tenants, by units, 2017 and 2018
              • Companies and brands
                • Westfield London Europe’s largest shopping centre
                  • Growth focused on city centre locations
                    • Hammerson pulls out of Intu Properties acquisition
                      • Westfield purchased by Unibail-Rodamco
                        • Experience-led shopping centres the new normal
                          • The consumer
                            • Two thirds have visited a shopping centre
                              • Figure 4: Shopping centres visited over a 12-month period, by location, April 2018
                            • Browsing is the top reason for visiting shopping centres
                              • Figure 5: Main reasons for visiting a shopping centre, April 2018
                            • Clothing and food most purchased items
                              • Figure 6: Items purchased at shopping centres, April 2018
                            • High levels of overall satisfaction
                              • Figure 7: Satisfaction in shopping centre experiences, April 2018
                            • Over two thirds would visit a shopping centre as a day out
                              • Figure 8: Behaviour towards shopping centres, April 2018
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                              • Shopping centres become destinations
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • UK retail property market has weakened
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Figure 9: BHS one year after collapse, August 2017
                                        • Importance of renovation and new developments
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Figure 10: Whitgift redevelopment plans, 2018
                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                            • Vacancy rates on the rise
                                              • Footfall declining
                                                • Growing influence of online retailing
                                                  • Inflation and interest rates remain low
                                                    • Pureplay retailers opening stores in shopping centres
                                                      • International retailers increasing presence in shopping centres
                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                        • Rising vacancy rates
                                                          • Decline in footfall
                                                            • Figure 11: Year-on-year footfall change, by location, January 2015-April 2018
                                                          • Rising rents
                                                            • Growth in internet sales
                                                              • Figure 12: Internet sales as a percentage of total retail sales, 2008-18
                                                            • Major department stores are suffering
                                                              • Low inflation and interest rate hike put on hold
                                                              • Retailer Mix

                                                                • Sector by sector
                                                                  • Food & Beverage
                                                                      • Figure 13: Meadowhall’s leisure hall extension plans, 2017
                                                                    • Clothing and footwear
                                                                        • Figure 14: Gino D’Acampo pizza and prosecco bar in Next, Manchester Arndale Centre, 2018
                                                                      • Department stores
                                                                          • Figure 15: John Lewis Westfield London store, 2018
                                                                        • Health and beauty
                                                                          • Electronics and communications
                                                                            • Definition clarification
                                                                              • Top shopping centre tenants
                                                                                • Figure 16: Top 10 shopping centre tenants, by units, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                • Figure 17: Top 20 shopping centre tenants, 2017 and 2018
                                                                              • Top retailers that have increased store portfolio within shopping centres
                                                                                • Figure 18: Top five increases in shopping centre units, 2018
                                                                              • Top retailers that have decreased store portfolio within shopping centres
                                                                                • Figure 19: Top five decreases in shopping centre units, 2018
                                                                              • Anchor retailers
                                                                                • Figure 20: Top 20 anchor stores within the top 100 shopping centres*, 2018
                                                                              • Pureplay to bricks-and-mortar
                                                                                • Figure 21: Missguided Bluewater store, 2017
                                                                                • Figure 22: Joe Browns first physical store, 2017
                                                                              • Increase in international presence
                                                                                  • Figure 23: West Elm Westfield London store, 2018
                                                                                • Australian invasion
                                                                                  • Figure 24: House Westgate Oxford interior, 2018
                                                                              • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                • Westfield London now Europe’s largest shopping centre
                                                                                  • Intu Properties tops shopping centre owner list
                                                                                    • Hammerson pulls out of Intu Properties acquisition
                                                                                      • Westfield purchased by Unibail-Rodamco
                                                                                        • Photo search apps introduced
                                                                                          • Shopping centre experiences
                                                                                          • Leading Shopping Centres

                                                                                            • Top shopping centres
                                                                                              • Figure 25: Westfield London with new extension, 2018
                                                                                              • Figure 26: Top 20 shopping centres, ranked by square footage, 2018
                                                                                            • Out-of-town versus city centre locations
                                                                                                • Figure 27: Behaviour towards paying for parking at a shopping centre, by location visited, April 2018
                                                                                              • Top shopping centre owners
                                                                                                • Figure 28: Top 20 direct property owners, ranked by square footage, 2018
                                                                                              • Key transactions
                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Transactions of large shopping centres, 2017-18
                                                                                              • Competitive Strategies

                                                                                                • Major acquisitions
                                                                                                  • Westfield purchased by Unibail-Rodamco
                                                                                                    • Hammerson’s potential acquisitions
                                                                                                      • Leisure replacing retail in shopping centres
                                                                                                        • New developments and revamps
                                                                                                          • Oxford Westgate
                                                                                                            • Brent Cross
                                                                                                              • Axiom
                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Proposed plans for Axiom scheme, 2018
                                                                                                              • Westfield Croydon
                                                                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                • Integrating technology into shopping
                                                                                                                  • Hammerson and intu partner with technology start-up platforms
                                                                                                                    • Photo search app
                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Hammerson Style Seeker advert, 2017
                                                                                                                    • Westfield’s use of virtual reality
                                                                                                                      • Reimagining the shopping centre experience
                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Library in Starfield COEX mall, 2018
                                                                                                                      • Increased space for leisure activities
                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Treetop Adventure Golf in St David’s shopping centre, 2018
                                                                                                                      • Westfield turns itself into leisure destination
                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Westfield Future Forest experience, 2017
                                                                                                                      • intu centres add activities
                                                                                                                        • Introduction of car showrooms
                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: BMW Bluewater showroom, 2018
                                                                                                                        • Adding housing to shopping centre space
                                                                                                                          • Events added to shopping centres
                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: intu space hoppers, 2018
                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Westfield events advertised in London, 2018
                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                          • Shopping centres popular with families
                                                                                                                            • Browsing is top reason for visiting
                                                                                                                              • Westfield popular choice for leisure
                                                                                                                                • People satisfied with shopping centre experience
                                                                                                                                  • Transport links to out-of-town centres in need of improvement
                                                                                                                                    • Two thirds visit a shopping centre for a day out
                                                                                                                                    • Shopping Centre Visits

                                                                                                                                      • Importance of shopping centres
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Shopping centres visited over a 12-month period, by location, April 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Millennials most likely to visit shopping centres
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Visitors of shopping centres, by generation, April 2018
                                                                                                                                        • Shopping centres popular for families
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Repertoire of shopping centre visits, April 2018
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Repertoire of shopping centres visited, indexed by presence and age of children in household, April 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Reasons for Visiting

                                                                                                                                        • Over half visit shopping centres for browsing
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Main reasons for visiting a shopping centre, April 2018
                                                                                                                                        • Department stores remain important
                                                                                                                                          • Shopping centres used as food destinations
                                                                                                                                            • Westfield popular for various leisure activities
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Main reasons for going to the shopping centre most recently visited, by shopping centre owner, April 2018
                                                                                                                                          • Items Purchased

                                                                                                                                            • Clothing and food and drink most popular items
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Items purchased at shopping centres, April 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Purchasing of clothing or food in a shopping centre, by reason for visiting, April 2018
                                                                                                                                            • Gender divide in items purchased
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Items purchased in a shopping centre, by gender, April 2018
                                                                                                                                            • Increased presence of health and beauty in shopping centres
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Items purchased in shopping centre group most recently visited, April 2018
                                                                                                                                            • Retailers could work collaboratively to increase basket sizes
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Repertoire of number of items bought in recent shopping centre visit, by age, April 2018
                                                                                                                                          • Satisfaction with Shopping Centres

                                                                                                                                            • High levels of overall satisfaction
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Satisfaction in shopping centre experiences, April 2018
                                                                                                                                            • One in eight satisfied with shopping centre locations…
                                                                                                                                              • …but transport links to out-of-town centres still leave a lot to be desired
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Satisfaction of transport links, by location of centre, April 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Westfield shoppers most satisfied with their experience
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Overall satisfaction in most recently visited shopping centre, by property owner, April 2018
                                                                                                                                            • Key Driver Analysis

                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Key drivers of overall satisfaction with shopping centres, April 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Choice of independent retailers lacking
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Galeta in Westfield Stratford City, 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Click-and-collect should be better promoted
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Overall satisfaction with shopping centres – key driver output, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                • Shopper Behaviour

                                                                                                                                                  • Over two thirds would visit a shopping centre as a day out
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Behaviour towards shopping centres, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Parking charges off-putting for those visiting out-of-town destinations…
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: People are less likely to visit a shopping centre that charges for parking, by location of shopping centre, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • …however, parking incentives could encourage more visitors
                                                                                                                                                      • More promotion and development needed for shopping centre apps
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Hammerson Style Seeker app in action, 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Usage of shopping centre apps, by age, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                        • Customer service in shopping centres could be enhanced
                                                                                                                                                          • Almost half prefer to shop online than go to a shopping centre
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Shopping centres – CHAID – Tree output, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Shopping centres – CHAID – Table output, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Key Driver Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                      • Interpretation of results
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Overall satisfaction with shopping centres – key driver output, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Satisfaction with shopping centres, April 2018