Ready for Retail Return

Anxious retailers are looking forward to re-opening their shops from the 12 April after a very difficult past five months, where for the majority of time doors were firmly closed and tills remained silent.

On a more optimistic note there has been some reasonable demand for retail space within the local towns, particularly Bury St Edmunds, in anticipation of a strong return of shoppers. There is also a rise in investor demand seeking opportunities to invest in retail property, particularly with an eye on vacant upper floors for conversion to residential.

Retail rents had already been readjusting prior to Covid in response to the effect of e-commerce and the high occupational costs of trading from bricks and mortar. It will be interesting to see how rents fair in the coming 12 months and whether the return to the retail high street will lead to a new wave of innovative and interesting occupiers.

This market sector has certainly been under extreme pressure in recent years but at Hazells we consider there could be a noticeable resurgence from both tenants and buyers.

Jonathan Lloyd MRICS

26th March 2021