January 22, 2021

SIGNS OF POSITIVE ACTIVITY ON THE HIGH STREET FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES

Over the past year, we have been inundated with information on the negative impact that Covid-19 is having on the retail market.  Indeed, what we are seeing now is the accelerated evolution of numerous key trends which we have been witnessing for some time.  There is no doubt that 2020 was a year of unprecedented uncertainty and change for many retailers, but, while the news may focus on national retailers rationalising their portfolios or brands going into administration, what it fails to do is mention any of the positives.  Well, it’s not all negative for the Derby retail market.

Since starting my new role with FHP in September 2020, I have been speaking with multiple parties interested in taking on new retail space in Derby.  Whether Covid-19 has given them the push to start a new business venture for themselves, or that their business is continuing to thrive and consequently they are seeking space for expansion, people are still enquiring, and deals are still being done.

We are seeing a lot of activity in units with rental values around £25,000 per annum and under.  We have recently let 47 Queen Street to Tiffany Jordan Bridal, a local wedding dress retailer who have been in Derby for many years.  Unit 4 The Royal Buildings has been let to Skin HQ, a national aesthetics clinician who have chosen to open a new branch in Derby. I have also recently let 70 Babington Lane to a new pizza restaurant/takeaway occupier, Pizzeria Da Alessia.  In addition, over the past couple of weeks I have put five other properties under offer within the City Centre, and I hope to have further updates on these very soon (watch this space!).

Arguably this array of positivity in small retail has been helped by the Shop Small/Shop Local movement.  I believe that there is some merit to the suggestion that consumers are falling back in love with their local high streets, and the push to support small businesses during these unprecedented times could create long term retailer survival.  Alongside this, the changes to the Use Classes Order made on 1st September 2020 may really be beginning to take its effect of helping reverse the commercial market decline. The now easy interchange from a retail premise to an office to a restaurant is only going to continue creating positive outcomes for our High Streets.  City Centre’s are becoming mixed-use destinations – spaces where people can live, shop, work, relax, learn, and be entertained, all in one place.

I strongly believe that retail will continue to reinvent itself and occupiers will still take stores.  For many goods and services, people still like the tangible in-store experience, and a few months locked inside is not going to change that.  There are many retailers who are, and will continue to perform well in our City.

For further information on any retail opportunities in and around Derby, please contact Estée Coulthard-Boardman on 01332 224 853 or estee@fhp.co.uk.

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