What is happening at Hull’s St Stephen’s Centre and what does the future hold for it?

What is happening at Hull’s St Stephen’s Centre and what does the future hold for it?

April 26, 2017

Our Business Risk Adviser, Nick Hood is quoted extensively on the challenges facing UK retailers as Hull’s St Stephen’s shopping centre sees its vacancy rates soar.

There is no question St Stephen’s is facing a challenging period.  With 17 retailers looking to negotiate a new lease, there could be some major changes at the centre. Zara, Dorothy Perkins and Sports Direct are all leaving and others could yet follow.  But St Stephen’s has already worked hard to add an extra element with a much bigger leisure offering having brought in climbing centre Rock Up, Fun Station and trampoline park Gravity. The centre has been a huge success story over the past ten years but now it is facing one of its most difficult times.

Dorothy Perkins has confirmed it will go in June, while Zara is also widely believed to be leaving in July. Sports Direct will also be gone by next spring, moving into the former Poundland shop across Ferensway.

We have spoken to retail expert Nick Hood of Opus Restructuring about the challenges ahead.  Mr Hood believes the large number of leases being up all at once in St Stephen’s is bad timing with a hike in business rates this year announced by the Government. He said:

“The nail in the coffin for any struggling centre is the rise in business rates that have just been introduced which will affect lease renewals. In more expensive areas like shopping centres the impact will be higher and major chains will not benefit from the Government fund set up to soften the impact. In light of the business rates increase, major retailers are going through their portfolios and making harsh decisions. If the stores aren’t making a decent profit, they will go.”

To read the full Hull Daily Mail article, please click on the link below: