Posts Tagged "#retail"


Former Topshop – Prime Retail Premises NOW LET in the Isle of Man

by Cheetham and Mortimer

Prime Retail Premises NOW LET in Douglas, Isle of Man

Despite the difficult high street market, on behalf of a private investor clients Cheetham & Mortimer have managed to secure a letting to Mountain Warehouse of this prime unit.


A prominent building occupying a 100% prime trading position on pedestrianised Strand Street in the islands capital, Douglas.

The property comprises a modern purpose built retail unit designed to provide sales accommodation and staff facilities over ground, first and second floors.

Other retailers within the immediate vicinity include Marks and Spencer, Boots, Next, New Look, River Island, JD Sports, Monsoon and TK Maxx.



Every dog has it’s day – well that’s the saying.

by Cheetham and Mortimer

Yesterday’s canine champion is called “Ocado”. According to them, and as a consequence of the pandemic, “the grocery landscape is changing for good”. Let’s face it – the grocery business has been one of the big winners of the pandemic. If you cannot grab market share and make money (or in Ocados case – reduce your losses from £214.5m to £44m) in this environment then you have a problem.

However, once this pandemic finally subsides, there is a huge wall of money waiting to buy a new pair of dancin’ pants, to meet family and friends again, to feast and get drunk. Humans need social interaction.

Once the restaurants and bars reopen, that expenditure will be directed away from the grocers. Once the offices reopen, home working will lose its appeal. Once we start to build back better, sustainability and the environment will top the bill. Once we return to our town centres, we will bemoan the number of vacant units and the lack of choice. What does that mean for home deliveries? Will we react again? There is no doubt that the pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of our lives …. but these are extraordinary times. All landscapes are evolving and change can be expected…..even for our top dog.

By Robert Millington


Roadside retail – it’s all about convenience aligned to a digital world

by Cheetham and Mortimer

The move to online shopping has been well documented and the pandemic has only accelerated this change in our habits. Similarly the surge in online home takeaway food delivery operators and their associated apps during this period appears to signal a permanent change in the way we will get our fast food in the future.

However, amidst this on line activity , we have witnessed considerable interest from retailers and leisure operators seeking a physical presence in the shape of bricks and mortar to ensure that they can provide the supply and logistics required to compliment the on line presence. As an example, retailers are now considering high profile roadside sites, such as failed restaurant units, or smaller retail showroom units, which can be utilised for click and collect purposes. The logic behind this is straightforward – there is a considerable cost saving, both in terms of staffing and rent/rates and in many cases it is more convenient for customers as the majority of these units have free car parking adjacent to the front door, rather than the often excessive rates charged in town centres and some retail parks. It gives the retailers the opportunity to have their branding on display and still have representation in a town, whilst at the same time not having the lease liability of a unit which is now considerably larger than their operational requirements. An example of this is at Portwood court, Stockport where C&M let the former Maplin unit to Direct Flooring – an online flooring retailer who  still required a physical presence  to showcase their offer and grow their business. At the same development, the former Carphone Warehouse attracted interest from a national fashion retailer who was considering relocating from the adjacent retail park and utilising the unit for click and collect only.

Similarly drive thru restaurant operators have become one of the most hotly contested sectors of the market as food to go businesses battle it out for prominent roadside buildings or sites, away from deserted shopping and leisure centres. The obvious attraction is the lack of physical contact and with many town centre takeaways closed, queues have stretched up to 90 minutes at some stores. With fewer staff required and typically lower rents than city centre sites, together with free car parking ,they are an attractive prospect for businesses. These outlets also provide the supply required for the burgeoning online presence.

The move online and for convenience is here to stay, but landlords and operators have to be proactive in recognising the potential opportunities that comes with it.

By Barrie Cochrane




Who made these failing retailers take long leases???

by Cheetham and Mortimer

Sir Ian Cheshire – a former chairman of Debenhams – is quoted on the BBC website that Debenhams was “caught in a straitjacket” with too many High Street outlets on long leases.

It is worth pointing out that in 2005, Debenhams entered into a sale & leaseback transaction on 23 stores with British Land. They committed to lease terms of 30 and 35 years and with annual compound increases in the rent. Debenhams happily pocketed £495,000,000. (Source – Property Week)

I seem to recall that House of Fraser pulled a similar stunt. They befell a similar fate. These retailers have often been instrumental in their own downfall. It’s not the fault of property owners…although they often seem to be taking the hit through the inequitable CVA process.