The Company has completed three significant lease transactions which have secured £857,244 of income per annum, and reduced the vacancy rate by 15%.
In a turbulent retail market, which is evolving in response to the changing needs of retailers, the Company continues to do deals, completing one new letting and two lease extensions. These deals take the number of deals completed in EPIC’s retail warehouse portfolio during the past 12 months to 21.
At Clwyd Retail Park in Rhyl, anchor tenant B&Q committed to the park by signing a new 10-year lease, which will expire in 2029. B&Q will continue to pay £508,644 per annum (£12.25 per sq. ft.).
The second lease extension was at Barnsley East Retail Park. Dunelm, who occupies 25,370 sq. ft. has also signed a new 10-year lease, at the passing rent of £213,600 per annum (£8.42 per sq. ft.).
JD Sports Gyms has leased 23,725 sq. ft. at Widnes Shopping park. JD has signed a 15-year lease with a break option at year 10, at an annual rent of £135,000.
Despite the challenges in the retail market, it is clear that retail is not dead. The sector is evolving, but not on an equal basis. High Streets and shopping centres continue to struggle, but there is occupier activity in the retail warehouse sector (as evidenced by the deals in EPIC’s portfolio), which has a low supply of space and a limited development pipeline.
Retail parks which are well-located, trade well and are let off affordable rents continue to see the most activity and are where tenants want to be for the long term.