UK store vacancies lead to partial demolition of two malls
Stretford Mall near Manchester and Pyramids Shopping Centre in Birkenhead are set to be partially demolished following a continued increase in shop vacancy rates.
Stretford Mall has recently seen the departure of national retailers including Wilko, TJ Hughes, Vodafone, B&M and Argos in recent years and is 48% vacant at present. The figure is set to rise in December, when Tesco Metro leaves its unit at the scheme after 40 years due to declining sales.
Footfall has fallen from 6.1 million in 2008 to 3.7 million in 2016, although owner M&M Asset Management has said the number of shoppers visiting the 1960s-built mall has increased over the past 12 months thanks to the arrival of an Aldi shop.
The opening of the new Aldi has not been enough to compensate the centre’s decline, however. M&M Asset Management has filed an application with Trafford Council to demolish part of the Chester Street part of the shopping centre, which could remove up to 50,000 sq ft of retail space.
Meanwhile, about 29,000 sq ft of retail space could be demolished at the 610,000 sq ft Pyramids Shopping Centre in Birkenhead. LaSalle Investment Management, acting on behalf of the Mars Pension Fund, is planning to transform the space into a 5,450 sq ft restaurant drive-thru and additional car park.
The part set for demolition has seen persistent high vacancy rates due to the small size of the units. According to the plans, retailers are increasingly looking for larger units to house their expanding concepts, so the works will help attract new occupiers.
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