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Friday, 1 July 2011

Scottish Retailers Hit Hardest

Research carried out by Colliers International, the retail specialists, has shown that Scottish High Streets are "failing" at a higher rate than their England and Welsh equivalents.  Colliers surveyed 364 towns and cities in the UK and looked at a number of indicators such as footfall and the rents that landlords could charge retailers.

Some 48 per cent of Scottish town and city centres have "failing" high streets, compared to 23 per cent across the UK.  One noteable exception was Edinburgh's George Street that had seen a 46% increase in rents over the 6 year period of the study.

Colliers were speaking in Edinburgh yesterday and head of retail Tom Johnston admitted, in the wake of last week's collapse, there was a "rewriting of presentations!"

Mr Charlton head of research, said latest figures showed John Lewis store sales were down 0.6% while its online service was up 25%, and Next had reported store growth of 0.9% but direct shopping and online growth of 15%. “The growing influence of social media, the rapid take-up of smartphones and consumer hunger for apps can’t be ignored,” he said.

Retailer's fortunes are often a good early indicator of the health of the economy as a whole and the omens are not good.  The firm also hinted that the banks were gearing up to "pull the plug" on heavily indebted property owners in secondary locations.

If you are a scottish retailer then you need to act early about trying to save your business and never let it get to a stage where a winding up petition might be served.  A winding up petition in Scotland is more damaging in Scotland than England.

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