Westfield’s two London centres–Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City–have retained the top two spots in GlobalData’s new Top 50 Shopping Centres Report 2019 for the United Kingdom, with Kent’s Bluewater shopping centre in the third. The ranking covers leading shopping centres, underpinned by data from landlords, property experts and shoppers.
Outside of the South East of England, the rest of the top 20 is primarily composed of regional stalwarts like Meadowhall, intu Metrocentre and intu Trafford centre, according to a press release from the company.
The report also offers an insight into the UK’s top shopping centre operators, with intu boasting the most centres in the top 20, with nine centres. intu’s portfolio includes key, landmark, regional shopping centres like intu Trafford Centre and intu Metrocentre.
There is strong representation from outside of London, including three centres in the North West (intu Trafford Centre, Manchester Arndale and Liverpool One) plus intu Metrocentre in the North East, St. Davids, Cardiff in Wales, Meadowhall in Yorkshire, intu Merry Hill in the West Midlands, two centres in Scotland (intu Braehead and East Kilbride) and The Mall at Cribbs Causeway in the South West, with virtually all regions of Britain boasting excellent shopping centre provision.
Of the main risers in the Top 50 Shopping Centres rankings this year, intu Watford (+10 places), Westgate Oxford (+8 places) and The Lexicon Bracknell (+8 places) have seen the most significant improvement.
Of these, intu Watford has benefitted from a £180m investment program, which has boosted the choice of food outlets and leisure offer, in addition to facilitating a rise in the breadth of retailers present. Alongside traditional metrics such as turnover and footfall, the new rankings also take into account future potential, provision of retail, food service and leisure facilities and, crucially, the views of the shoppers who have visited them.
According to the company’s primary consumer research, the prime reason for visiting shopping centres remains the diversity of retailers and products on offer. This is evident in the key aspects shoppers consider when deciding which shopping centre to visit, with 55.6 per cent mentioning the presence of their favourite retailers and 56.1 per cent mentioning lots of different retailers to visit.
Food and leisure options continue to be a key factor in where consumers decide to shop – 83.1 per cent of shoppers undertook leisure activities while visiting a shopping centre in 2019, up 2.5 ppts on 2018 and almost a quarter of all consumers visit for the purpose of eating out or using the leisure facilities.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)