Retail Property Remains an Attractive Commercial Investment
Despite the negative press it has had lately, retail remains an attractive commercial property investment, according to the latest statistics.
Retail sales still strong
With the closures of big-name brands such as Mothercare, Thomas Cook and Homebase, it may seem like the traditional British high-street is dying. However, according to the latest Retail Sales data from the Office of National Statistic (ONS), year-on-year the volume of sales in October increased by 3.1% in nearly all sectors (the only sector excluded from this is household goods). In other research into the UK commercial property market, conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CERB), trends show that the near future of commercial investment might be challenging for those who don’t adapt to the ever-changing demands of the public. Indeed, in order to achieve and sustain growth, businesses need to be willing to adapt and change their strategy in order to stay relevant - and profitable.
Adapting commercial property expectations
This doesn’t necessarily mean changing industry completely, but rather making those changes that appeal most to your current audience in order to drive foot traffic to a bricks and mortar store. Retail giant John Lewis provides an excellent example of just this. In one of their biggest stores, they are testing swapping retail space for what they’re dubbing ‘experience playgrounds’. The playgrounds will be dedicated areas designed to help shoppers learn a new skill, such as pasta making or barista training. This way John Lewis suddenly becomes a destination, somewhere to spend hours instead of minutes (and no doubt the products used in the sessions will be available for the participants to buy).
The high street is changing
Indeed, commercial property will continue to wield excellent return on investment for landlords whose tenants understand the need to adapt to meet modern consumer demand. Taking the latest shopping behaviour and expectation trends into consideration, the commercial mortgage brokers at FC Funding believe landlords will need to consider mixing uses of property and having more services available for the consumer to benefit from. Indeed, some economic experts believe the high street of the future will be made up of restaurants, bars and hairdressers alongside doctors surgeries and dentists.
If you’re thinking about investing in commercial property, contact the experienced mortgage brokers at FC Funding for expert advice and great deals. Simply call us on 01202 937880 or fill out and submit our online contact form and we’ll be in touch soon.