Despite the strong growth in online retail sales, physical shop presence is still significant and shopping centers are key areas of retail real estate. As of July 2017, there were over 9.500 shopping centers in Europe. These centers generated an annual retail turnover of 125.8 billion euros, 110,4 billion euros and 77.3 billion euros in France, the UK and Germany, respectively, in 2016.
Westfield London is the UK’s top shopping centre according to a report by GlobalData. In second place is Westfield Stratford City, also in London, and Bluewater shopping centre in Kent takes the third spot in the Top 50 UK Shopping Centres Report 2018.
Demand for London and South East assets remains strong as the retrenchment towards the perceived security of these geographies continues. During 2017, London and the South East accounted for 52% of shopping centre transaction volumes. In the first half of 2018, this has increased to 78%.