DJD: Liverpool retail improved in 2011

Retail voids in Liverpool's core dropped from 16.4% in 2010 to 13.4% in 2011 according to a report by Drivers Jonas Deloitte for Liverpool Vision.

The Liverpool Main Retail Area report says the city's shopping sector 'remains buoyant despite the economic downturn'.

DJD found footfall during 2011 was 60.2m compared to 57.2m the previous year. Grosvenor's Liverpool One reported 26m visitors, up 5%, while sales increased by more than 10%. Footfall also increased at St John's Shopping Centre which saw an increase of 9% on 2010 with more than 11.5m visitors.

Chris Bliss, estate director of Liverpool One, said: "Liverpool One continues to go from strength to strength, in the first quarter of 2012 we were 10% ahead of the same period last year. We are currently 98% let when the UK vacancy rate is 7% and 90% of new stores in 2011 were firsts in the city."

Liverpool One attracted new brands, including Calvin Klein,, LEGO, Eat and North Face. A large Harvey Nichols beauty concept store is due to open in the autumn.

Beyond established destinations, Merepark is advancing construction of its £120m Central Village scheme, the £25m Forever 21 store on the corner of Church Street and Whitechapel is due to open by the end of the year, as is a £3m development by Marks & Spencer in Williamson Square.

Ged Gibbons, chief executive of City Central BID, which represents 630 businesses in the retail core, said: "Liverpool city centre has undergone a huge transformation in the past decade which has revolutionised its appeal as a shopping and tourism destination and we must continue to build on that platform.

"This report is an important milestone in setting out the next 10 years. It challenges us all to continue to be ambitious and be confident that we can achieve."

The Liverpool MRA report will be published annually presenting a snapshot of vacancies, shop classification, ranking against other UK retail centres and transport usage.

The first Liverpool MRAS can be found on the Liverpool Vision website

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