Community shopping centres on the rise

Published:  27 June, 2017

Savills research for Ellandi shows 78 per cent of shoppers visit at least weekly

Community shopping centres are playing an increasingly important role in the overall retail experience, according to a new report from Savills and Ellandi, with 78 per cent of shoppers visiting one at least weekly and 92 per cent at least monthly. Retail Revolutions: The Rise of the Community Shopping Centre highlights a polarisation of shopping patterns, with a clear distinction between dominant centres visited occasionally and functional local shopping fitted around busy, every-day life.

The Midlands, North West and North East regions have the most frequent visitation of community shopping centres, with 80 per cent of consumers visiting once a week or more, states the report. By contrast, just 15 per cent of consumers nationally visit large regional shopping centres weekly, and 44 per cent visit less than twice a year. Retail parks draw 19 per cent of shoppers at least once a week, rising to 53 per cent for high streets.

Tom Whittington, retail research director at Savills, said: “While destination schemes provide high profile, less frequent retail experiences, most shopping trips take place much closer to home. The difference in visit frequency is closely linked to the nature of the retail journey different types of scheme support. Local centres generally offer a high proportion of groceries and staple goods while destination schemes provide a greater number of fashion and comparison goods, with a more comprehensive leisure offer. However, there is clearly more to the relationship with community shopping centres than convenience, as revealed by the surprisingly long dwell times and range of goods purchased.”

The report highlights that 44 per cent of trips to community shopping centres last longer than one hour nationally, rising to 51 per cent in Greater London and 66 per cent in Northern Ireland. Across all areas, just 30 per cent of trips are less than half an hour long. The typically short travel times also underline the fact that such centres serve a very local population, with 79 per cent of shoppers undertaking journeys of less than 20 minutes, and 46 per cent journeys of less than 10 minutes.

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