Out of town retail: Top UK locations with potential for uplift in four key sectors revealed by Savills

06 July 2017

Manchester took the top spot for fashion and comparison, requiring an additional 145,899 sq ft of OOT retail space to bring it in line with the national average for this sector of 0.7 sq ft per shopper, followed by Barnsley (70,835 sq ft) and Newcastle-upon-Tyne (69,115 sq ft).

For the bulky goods sector, including DIY, electrical and homeware, Birmingham has the most potential for uplift in OOT space, requiring a considerable 548,306 sq ft increase on current levels to reach the sector’s national average of 1.5 sq ft per shopper.  Additionally, Liverpool and Leeds could support a further 367,859 sq ft and 328,935 sq ft respectively.

Oxford has potential for the greatest increase in OOT leisure space (excluding food and beverage), with current levels falling 38,703 sq ft short of the sector’s 0.6 sq ft per shopper average.  Additionally, Reading could support 34,182 sq ft more OOT leisure space, while Grays would need a further 33,034 sq ft to bring it in line with the average.

For grocery retail, Leicester is a key opportunity market, requiring an extra 172,483 sq ft to bring it in line with the sector average of 0.6 sq ft per shopper.  This is closely followed by Nottingham and Sheffield, which could support an additional 167,178 sq ft and 132,723 sq ft respectively.

View table showing top UK locations with potential for uplift in fashion, bulky goods, leisure and grocery out of town retail space.

Dominic Rodbourne, head of out of town retail at Savills, comments: “Though retailer confidence across the board is currently mixed, robust footfall on out of town schemes means they remain attractive for both retailers and landlords.  In particular, furniture and bulky goods retailers are generally expansionary. However, supply is becoming increasingly problematic with vacancy rates approaching an all time low.  Our analysis breaks out of town retail down by sector to highlight where the key opportunities around creating new space lie for landlords and developers.”

Sam Arrowsmith, associate in the commercial research team at Savills, adds: “While household spending growth is forecast to be slower over the next 12 months than in recent years, we still expect spending on retail warehouse type goods to grow at an average of 3.6% per annum over the next five years*.  This will be supported by a rise in DIY spending as some homeowners choose to refurbish rather than move for economic reasons, as well as wider gentle pick up-in housing transaction levels which will boost bulky goods, meaning the outlook for this sector is particularly positive.”

*Data from Savills Spotlight: UK Retail Warehouse Report (May 2017).


General Enquiries

Head Office London


Key Contacts

Dominic Rodbourne

Dominic Rodbourne

Director, Head of Department
Out of Town Retail

Head Office London

+44 (0) 20 7409 9945


Sam Arrowsmith

Sam Arrowsmith

Associate Director
Commercial Research


+44 (0) 161 277 7273