The Future of the High Streeton
It has been reported that 50,000 retail jobs have disappeared so far this year. It looks like this is set to continue with more retailers looking to reduce their physical footprint.
Opinions remain divided, with the growth of on-line retailers, some are predicting the death of the High Street. However, there is a growing school of thought that this sector is resilient and will change and adapt.
As retailers rebalance their businesses with smaller floor areas, they are also focussing on the customer experience. Live music in stores, eating and drinking in a variety of forms as well as creating informal workspaces for students, business meetings and those who work on the go.
It is likely that most large retail spaces will either be sub-divided into smaller units or feature a multitude of concessions. Either this or a complete change of use to residential, health centres or leisure.
So, what for the retail Landlord?
We are already seeing rents reduced via Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA’s) and a higher proportion of vacant spaces. This is putting huge financial pressure on retail Landlords
Those Landlords who will make a success of the High Street, will no doubt have a clear vision. This will likely include sub-dividing larger spaces, investing in technology infrastructures within their buildings and taking a much more flexible approach on sub-letting.
In some cases, this will be converting retail units for other uses to secure a tenancy.
There are many opportunities which can be exploited by Landlords that will contribute to the evolution of the High Street and underpin the success of the UK economy.