C&R malls significantly outperform National Index
In December 2017, we saw a 1.7% footfall increase across our wholly owned portfolio of assets, underlining the continued resilience of well-managed, dominant community shopping centres and the important role they play in their localities.
The uplift represents a significant outperformance of the National Footfall Index figure which was down by 3.7% on December 2016. For the second half of 2017, our seven wholly-owned shopping centres achieved a 0.5% increase in footfall compared to a National Index figure of -2.8%.
In the second half of 2017, we undertook repositioning pilot projects at Maidstone and Ilford and these two assets recorded particularly strong December performances. The carefully tailored improvements resulted in Ilford lifting its December 2017 footfall by 1.9% on the previous December, while Maidstone delivered a 3.2% improvement. This rise is also reflected in the quarterly comparisons, where Maidstone showed a 2% uplift in footfall in the fourth quarter of 2017, versus 2016, and Ilford lifted by 5.5%. The intention is to roll out similar asset management programmes across the rest of its portfolio over the coming months.
A further contributor to footfall growth was the use of centres for the collection of online purchases. In December 2017, the number of parcels collected at either a CollectPlus point or Amazon locker in our shopping centres was 6,251, up by 5.7% on December 2016. The convenient location of the malls, which are immersed in local communities and within the immediate vicinity of transport hubs, means that they are popular delivery and collection points for online purchases, which drives customers to the centres, translating into repeat visits and increased sales for the retailers operating in the centres.
Lawrence Hutchings, CEO, commented: “The footfall figures for the important month of December have been very pleasing and continue a trend that we at Capital & Regional have seen throughout last year. They show that where the focus is on improving the customer proposition and helping to make the decision to visit our malls as frictionless as possible, then the shopping centres will have increased appeal and repeat visits. As such, these kinds of community malls are the engine rooms for UK retailers.
“Overall, we have seen a customer shift towards value-orientated goods and services, while everyday essentials, personal and professional services, supermarkets, fashion basics and express food have all performed well.”