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Almost 5% of total UK shopper spend is on non-food retail

Published: 18 October 2018 - Kiran Grewal

The top 50 UK shopping centres account for £17.4billion in shopper spending per year – almost 5% of total UK shopper spend on non-food retail, food service and leisure, reflecting the continued importance of these locations to UK retail.

The findings are published in Global Data’s ‘Top 50 UK Shopping Centres Report, 2018’ , which was created to take into account the requirements of both tenants and shoppers in to provide a comprehensive view on the UK’s top shopping centres.Through a combination of consumer and B2B research, the new report provides a 360° view on the UK’s leading shopping centres, underpinned by data from landlords, property experts and, most importantly, shoppers.

‘Top 50 UK Shopping Centres Report, 2018’ reveals that the top shopping centre is Westfield London, based in Shepherd’s Bush, which has pushed Westfield Stratford City, London into second place, with Bluewater shopping centre Kent in third position. Shopping centres rank marginally behind the high street in second place when it comes to how frequently they are used for non-food shopping and rank in third place when it comes to money spent on non-food, behind the high street and online. This reflects the broader role of shopping centres as a place to spend time and enjoy browsing and researching, as well as making purchases.


Retail consulting director at Global Data, Joseph Robinson commented: ‘‘The top three shopping centres are located in London and the South East, but geographically the top 20 rankings paints a picture of excellent shopping centre provision across the UK.’’

There is strong representation from the North West (three centres: intu Trafford Centre, Manchester Arndale and Liverpool One) and the North East (Intu Metrocentre), Wales (St. Davids, Cardiff), Yorkshire (Meadowhall), the West Midlands (Intu Merry Hill) Scotland (three centres: intu Braehead, East Kilbride and the Centre, Livingston) and the South West (The Mall at Cribbs Causeway), with virtually all regions of Britain boasting excellent shopping centre provision.

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 eight. Intu’s portfolio includes key, landmark, regional shopping centres, such as intu Trafford Centre and intu Metrocentre. Intu’s top eight shopping centres account for a combined £4billion in annual turnover, which is 36.6% of shopper expenditure via the top 20 UK shopping centres.

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.

Mr Robinson continued: ‘‘Our research found that, in spite of the diverse range of experiences offered by the modern shopping centre, retail is still the most important consideration for shoppers with the two most sought after retailers in shopping centres being Boots and Primark.

‘‘In a sign of the times, shoppers were also increasingly likely to be attracted by the presence of value retailers, such as B&M and Primark, as well as premium options such as Selfridges and Ted Baker when choosing where to shop.’’

He observed: ‘‘When it comes to food and drink operators, while UK shopping centres have made great strides in expanding their array of options over the past decade, the two most sought after brands among UK shoppers are Costa Coffee and McDonalds.’’

Just under a third (32.2%) of shoppers visit shopping centres twice a month or more, with the average shopper making just under 16 trips per year. This rises to a high of 21.1 trips per year among 18-24 year olds, among whom almost half (48.8%) visit twice a month or more.

Mr Robinson added: ‘‘The research also underlines the importance of good transport facilities with 52% of shoppers mentioning the absence of good transport options as being the most likely factor to put them off a particular destination.’’

Head of EMEA Retail, at Cushman & Wakefield, Justin Taylor concluded: “This insightful new report illustrates the ongoing demand for the best physical locations by measuring key drivers of shopping centre performance, including retailer and shopper sentiment. Whilst there are challenges in the retail sector, retailers still want to be in the best physical locations with the highest footfall and shoppers want one-stop destinations that caters for their retail and leisure needs. This report shows how the UK’s top shopping centres continue to offer an unrivalled experience with landlords constantly innovating to ensure their locations stay one step ahead.”



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