British Land has reported a shift in footfall across its portfolio as consumer behaviour evolves.
Reporting on its financial year to 31 March this morning the group said footfall at its Regional centres was down 1.9% but sales were up 0.3%, illustrating how people were visiting these larger centres less frequently, but spending more. At Local centres, footfall was up 2.1% but in-store sales were down 0.7% reflecting greater click and collect usage at these sites which is not included within in-store sales.
The group said its True Value of Stores research, conducted in the year with retail consultancy GlobalData showd that, on average, click and collect usage is 46% greater at Local centres than the national average and click and collect customers spend around 50% more than the average shopper.
The group said: “This outperformance illustrates that in a polarising market, our centres are attracting a disproportionate share of consumer demand.”
The group reported its overall portfolio valuation for the year down 1.4% with a 1.6% gain in H2; and 15 bps yield expansion in the year.
It reported 1.7 million sq ft of lettings and renewals across the portfolio, 8.0% ahead of ERV, adding £22m of rent. Occupancy was at 98%, with average lease length of 8.3 years.
Chief executive Chris Grigg said: “We are reporting a good set of results today despite an uncertain environment over the last 12 months. We are particularly pleased by the increase in underlying profits, by our strong leasing performance across the business and by the very successful sales we have made. The increase in valuations in the second half is also better than many expected six months ago. These results reflect the continuing execution of our strategy, providing space that responds to changing lifestyles and really fulfils customers’ needs. We expect to be operating in an uncertain environment for some time; in this context we will benefit from the resilience of our business, the quality of our portfolio and the strength of our finances. We also look forward with cautious optimism as we believe that we can generate incremental returns by allocating capital to development opportunities we have created, whilst keeping risk at an appropriate level and maintaining flexibility to respond to changes in our markets.”