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Highbury & Islington most resilient retail area in Greater London list

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 3/22/2023 Joanna Hodgson
angelcentral.jpg © press image from CBRE IM angelcentral.jpg

Highbury & Islington has been crowned the most resilient area in the capital outside of zone one for retail and dining businesses, according to new research.

The list looking at the retail and food and beverage sectors, has Kilburn and Holloway Road come in at second and third.

It was compiled using a number of metrics including store vacancy rates, footfall, new openings, population growth and household incomes to identify the top 40 markets in London from zones two – six.

The study comes as many people continue to work from home for at least part of the week following the Covid-19 crisis.

Josh Arnold, commercial research analyst at property consultancy Savills, which carried out the research, said: “Ongoing flexible working arrangements have led to an increase in localised spending as people spend more time in their local neighbourhoods. This is reflected in sales figures and new openings for a number of retailers, with many reporting an uplift in sales versus pre-pandemic for suburban areas, which in turn has influenced expansion plans.”

The findings showed Highbury & Islington has benefited from its large population (64% higher than the top 40 average), as well as strong footfall figures, well-connected transport services and a boost from the newly refurbished Angel Central shopping centre.

CBRE IM, the landlord of Angel Central, said footfall in January and February was 19% higher than a year earlier, and on par compared with the same two months in 2019 before the pandemic. Sales at the centre are stronger, with January and February up 37% from the same period in 2022.

The rest of the top 10 includes Dalston, Balham, Tooting, Putney, Walthamstow, Brixton and Finsbury Park.

Michael Lockhart, retail director at Savills, adds: “While the wider UK retail sector faces significant macro-economic headwinds, suburban and commuter neighbourhoods in Greater London continue to outperform.”

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