Business Irish

Sunday 23 July 2017

The retail winners and losers in 2018

An artist's impression of Pizarro, which is among the developments expected to boost Bray's retail revenue by an estimated 61pc to €225.3m
An artist's impression of Pizarro, which is among the developments expected to boost Bray's retail revenue by an estimated 61pc to €225.3m

Donal Buckley

Bray, Gorey and Carrickmacross have been identified as being among the provincial towns which are expected to see their retail spending power boosted by 2018.

However, a number of southside Dublin suburban centres are expected to suffer from increased competition. Nevertheless, spokespeople for a number of these centres are challenging the report's forecasts.

According to The First Experian Retail Survey, the combination of the new Pizzaro scheme and Florentine Centre will boost retail spending in the town of Bray by 61pc.

However, Experian expects that Bray will suck business away from other retail centres in the south Dublin and Wicklow area. For instance, it expects that Arklow could experience the greatest impact, with a possible decline of 50pc in its share of Ireland's retail spend.

However, these projections were challenged by the agents for the Arklow's Bridgewater centre. Aidan Grimes, director of the agent Bannon, says that the report appears to be contradictory: "The Pizarro scheme is aspirational and the new schemes in Bray have not secured anchors. The Gorey offer is convenience, whereas Arklow has a stronger range as it includes comparison shopping and it will benefit from holidaymakers visiting Brittas Bay and Courtown, as well as from the efforts to attract new industry and expansions at existing employers such as Qualcrean."

Experian also identifies Naas and Longford among the top seven growth centres, as they could boost their retail spend by 29pc to at least €124m and 15pc to at least €241m respectively.

On the basis of unchanged retail spend, other centres could see falls of over 20pc in the value of their market take and these include Wicklow, Leopardstown Retail Park, Clondalkin, Stillorgan, Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire, Nutgrove, Malahide Road Retail Park and Airside Retail Park.

Experian expects several smaller towns to benefit from the Government's decentralisation plans. Carrickmacross in Monaghan currently has very little retail provision, but will see a significant growth in retail spend due to the development of the Carrickmacross Centre.

As well as its all-Ireland survey, Experian also ranks shopping centres on a regional basis. One of the surprising forecasts is in the midlands league, where it expects Longford, with a retail spend of €241m, to edge ahead of Athlone, at €232m by 2018, despite the latter's central location and third-level college.

In the south east, Waterford will move up one place in the national ranks to 13th, with a retail spend of €356m. However, Kilkenny, despite a spend of €190m, will slip from 28th nationally to 38th, while Carlow, with its retail spend of €210m, slips only one position into 31st. The retail spend figures quoted here do not allow for Experian's expectation that the all-Ireland retail spend will grow by 4.8pc per annum in the next 10 years.

Instead, these tables are based on calculating the amount of comparison goods expenditure a centre is likely to attract given the strength of its retail offer and the levels of competition around it.

Experian avails of a number of tools it has as a leading provider of retail data, analysis, economic forecasting and consultancy, pedestrian footflow in all major retail locations, floorspace data plans for over 900,000 retail locations in Ireland and the UK, as well as over 400 data variables which analyse the socio-demographic composition of retail catchment areas. Its resources include Goad's scaled and digitised high street and retail centre plans, the Future Foundation, a global retail brand consultancy and think-tank, and Business Strategies, one of the UK's leading economic forecasting groups.

Jonathan de Mello, director of retail consultancy at Experian, said: "For the first time now we have an accurate and very powerful measure of retail expenditure for every significant retail location in Ireland."

Ronan Faherty, of Land Securities, a major retail property investor in Ireland, commented: "Experian's research will prove invaluable to retailers, developers and investors looking to determine their future retail location strategies and investment priorities over the next decade.

"With so much new retail development planned over the next decade, it is vital that retailers, investors and developers conduct detailed and careful research before investing in a location."

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