Food & beverage sector growth firmly on menu in Liverpool & Manchester despite slow down from national brands

20 September 2017

Retail and leisure lettings in Liverpool and Manchester have been heavily weighted towards food and beverage (F&B) operators in the last 18 months, according to Savills, as the sector continues to grow in both cities despite a slow down in expansion by national F&B brands across the UK.  In Liverpool, 40% of new city centre retail and leisure occupants since Q1 2016 were F&B operators, rising to 41% for Manchester, says the international real estate advisor.

An increase in street food and healthy ‘grab and go’ operators, many of which are independent, is driving F&B growth in both cities, reports Savills.  Liverpool city centre saw 161 new retail and leisure occupants open in the last 18 months, of which 65 were F&B brands, such as Neighbourhood and El Mexicana.  Included within this 65 were 25 cafes and restaurants.  Since Q1 2016, 25% of the city’s F&B lettings involved change of planning use for the properties involved from A1/A2/B1 (shops, banks and offices), says the firm.

Savills also highlights 246 new retail and leisure occupants in Manchester city centre since Q1 2016, of which 102 were F&B.  These include Roc ‘n’ Rye, Dirty Martini and The Ivy, the latter two of which are currently fitting out their units.  Cafes and restaurants accounted for 60 of these 102 openings, equating to 24%.  A third of F&B lettings in Manchester during this period, including Bravissimi, Leon and Creams Cafe, saw operators change the planning use of the properties involved from A1/A2/B1 (shops, banks and offices).

John Agnew, director in the retail and leisure team at Savills, comments: “In both Liverpool and Manchester, the level of requirements from local and regional F&B operators remains robust despite a general slow down in expansion plans by some national brands across the UK. 

“Independent street food operators such as Bakchich and Panchos Burritos in Liverpool and Rudy’s Pizza, Bondobust and Hip Hop in Manchester have been at the forefront.  Likewise, healthy grab and go operators such as Kettlebell Kitchen, Friska and Nourish have been driving demand for F&B space in both cities.”

Tom Whittington, retail research director at Savills, adds: “Two to three years ago, many F&B operators were seeking larger, combined units.  Partly due to the increase in independent operators, there is now growing appetite for smaller spaces.  This has seen the average unit sizes let to F&B brands in Liverpool and Manchester reduce 25% to 805 sq ft over the last year and a half, largely due to increased growth in grab and go operators.”

Manchester also tops Savills UK ranking for growth in the casual dining sector since 2015, with 32 openings across the city centre.  Liverpool ranks 9th, with 10 new openings during that time.

 
 

General Enquiries

Savills Margaret Street

 

Key Contacts

John Agnew

John Agnew

Director
Retail

Savills Manchester

+44 (0) 161 244 7707

 

Tom Whittington

Tom Whittington

Director
Retail Research

Savills Manchester

+44 (0) 161 244 7779