12 May, 2020

Strong demand for small shops

BA Commercial from Chester are reporting a strong demand for smaller shops throughout the North West and North Wales. The majority of this demand is for shops under 1,500 square feet (140 square metres) and rents being less than £20,000 per annum.


As everyone knows the Coronavirus has caused enormous disruption to all businesses throughout the United Kingdom and as a result, many people have lost their jobs There is also no doubt this redundancy rate will increase further in the coming months once the government’s furlough scheme has ended and businesses cannot afford to re-employ their staff.  This wave of redundancy has already resulted in a large number of enquiries from people looking to set up new retail businesses using their previous skills as a barber, chef, shop manager, etc.  The United Kingdom has always been a country of entrepreneurs and it is anticipated the coming months will no doubt enhance that reputation further.


Looking at the proposals being put forward, there could not be a better time to start up a new retail business once the lockdown begins to be relaxed.  Landlords are desperate to fill their empty properties and to stop paying void rates. To do this are landlords are offering their shops on flexible leases and with rent concessions. These terms are further enhanced for new tenants by the rate holiday being offered by the government until April 2021.


This strong demand for smaller shops does not however extend to the larger shops where demand is still very limited and it is difficult to see where the new interest for these will come from. Laura Ashley, Cath Kidston, Brighthouse, Warehouse, Oasis and Debenhams to name a few used to occupy large shops and have all recently gone into administration


Looking forward to the next 12 months, the green shoots of recovery are certainly beginning to appear for smaller shops and landlords should be prepared to not only support their existing tenants but also look to help the new businesses who will be starting up in the coming months.


Dan Wild, Director. BA Commercial