A week on the high street - 11th January 2022
Date published: Date modified: 2022-01-19

retail

Wilko is to close 15 stores across the UK in the next year. The planned closures are due to leases ending and, while the home and garden retailer plans to open negotiations for favourable terms with all landlords, stores will close if these cannot be agreed. Wilko has said it wants to find alternative positions at nearby stores for the 300 employees affected. Of the 15 stores, 11 have an alternative Wilko branch within a five-mile radius.

Retail sales grew in December in a boost for the sector, as detailed by the latest BRC-KPMG sales monitor. For the five weeks between November 28 and January 1, total retail sales saw a year-on-year increase of 9.9%. BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Retailers did well to weather the challenging trade conditions, with retail sales for 2021 up on both the previous year and compared with pre-pandemic levels… It will take continued agility and resilience if they are to battle the storm ahead, while also tackling issues from labour shortages to rising transport and logistics costs.” Figures from Springboard, however, show that working from home, Plan B restrictions and concern over the Omicron variant contributed to a decline in footfall across retail locations in December.

LEISURE

The latest Barclaycard data suggests that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the hospitality sector. Consumer card spending did increase 12.2% in December compared to the same period in 2019, but spending in restaurants declined -14.1% compared to -3.5% in November. Hotels, resorts and accommodation spend declined -1.9% as staycations were put on hold. According to STR, London’s hotels reported lower occupancy (53.4%, the lowest since July 2021) last month, although room rates were higher. Jose Carvalho, head of consumer products at Barclays, said: “More Brits were either isolating or choosing to stay at home due to the new variant, which hampered face-to-face retailers as well as hospitality and leisure outlets."

PROPERTY

Swedish hospitality group Pandox has agreed to acquire the Adagio Aparthotel Edinburgh for £40.5m from MAS. The 146-bedroom hotel was built in 2016 as part of a city development project. Liia Nõu, chief executive of Pandox, said: “The hotel is strategically and centrally located in one of the most attractive hotel markets in the UK with well-diversified demand and very good revpar levels. The acquisition provides exposure towards the extended-stay segment, which we hope will grow over time as part of our portfolio.”

Get Living has secured a loan of £365m from Starwood Capital, to continue redevelopment work in London’s Elephant and Castle. Plans include the regeneration of the former shopping centre, which is to include 485 homes and 135,000sq ft of shops, restaurants and leisure space. There will also be 55,000sq ft of workspace, a new campus for the London College of Communication and a new Tube entrance and ticket hall.


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