Calls for more House Sales and Retail Confidence Boosted

There is no doubt that the economy has turned a corner in recent months, much to the amazement of huge numbers of the population and perhaps even the government themselves as remarkably we are experiencing growth, however small, which at one time was thought to be impossible.

With the UK’s economy forecast to overtake the European powerhouse that is Germany next year, the signs are beginning to show on the ground where shopping malls seem busy again, with shoppers keen to spend on bigger purchases such as sofas, furniture, cars and kitchens, confident in the knowledge that interest rates are not set to rise for at least a couple of years.

Positive movement can certainly be seen this week from the market analysis the research team at Fear Group has undertaken in a number of retail locations around the country including Bicester Village, Cheltenham town centre, Cabot Circus and The Mall at Cribbs Causeway both in Bristol, as well as the Westfield Shopping Centre in London and the Trafford Centre in Manchester – all of which seem busier than ever and importantly, with people actually buying not just browsing!

Westfield in particular is reporting record numbers of visitors and outstripping it’s opening year record-breaker of 47M visitors (original forecasts by Westfield Group were 20M visitors a year) by some margin as we understand it.

Help To Buy also seems to be creating busy shops, in particular sofa and DIY shops. We went to look at one housing development this weekend and it was so busy, people were literally queuing to view the show home and with nowhere to park nearby we decided to go for a coffee in Costa instead – again facing a massive queue!

Obviously it is not all good news and many areas, particularly secondary high street locations are suffering badly still with little sign of recovery but at least some retailers and house builders are experiencing the long awaited and much needed growth which if it can continue will begin to sustain many of the jobs of the future in these two key industries.

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