Nearly one in five high street shops in the region could be forced to close by 2018 because of a surge in online shopping. That is the conclusion of a new study from the Centre for Retail Research, which says that over the next five years, the number of
UK retail stores will drop from 281,930 to 220,000 if current trends continue.
The growth in online retailing was always going to have an impact. Retailers that have embraced the internet are benefitting from the change in customer behaviour – and thriving – but those that have failed to adapt have struggled.
What will our town centres look like in 10 to 15 years’ time?
• A continued move towards more "click and collect" stores may require a change in store size and configuration – designs need to allow that flexibility and many existing units may become redundant.
• Adjacent vacant stores may need to be consolidated – so landlords should consider a review of lease terms to check when leases on adjacent units will come to an end and formulate appropriate strategies for lease renewals to try and co-ordinate end dates
• The retail core may well shrink – leaving empty units that will need to be used for alternative uses. We may see more edge of core leisure, residential and offices.
• Town centres will need to be more accessible – more car parking for free, better public transport provision.
• Will there be more areas set aside for quality "dwell" time, to encourage people to visit and stay?
For some these challenges will present opportunities – as the property market starts to recover, development plans that have been shelved for a number of years can be dusted down and brought forward. These may well need to be revisited and an early assessment
needed of what needs to change to address changes in the retail world.
For more information about any of the above or for practical commercial advice on this or any other aspect of property law, please contact
Ian Barker of the Berg Property Team on 0161 833 9211 or email him at
The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Berg or any of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should
be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.