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Shopping centre business conditions slow, but remain positive

Business conditions for the European shopping centre industry remain positive but the pace of growth slowed on the previous month, according to the latest Pan European Shopping Centre Executive Opinion Survey, released by The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Europe.

The survey results were compiled from responses of European shopping-centre executives collected between 16-31 January 2014.

The Euro-Shop Current-Conditions index, which measures the performance of sales, footfall, occupancy and re-leasing rent across the shopping centre industry, also saw a month-on-month deceleration of growth in January and a slight deterioration year-on-year. This is as a result of a marked drop in footfall, which fell by 16 percentage points on January, and 21 percentage points on the same month in 2013.

Exceptional weather conditions across much of Europe may well have been a key reason for slower growth, and also the so-called January sales, which have increasingly begun to take place before Christmas, dissolving what was previously an increase in footfall at the start of a new year.

Despite a fall in customer traffic, sales remained stable, occupancy dropped slightly but re-leasing rent rose 11 percentage points on the previous month.

Manager of International Research at ICSC Europe, Sarah Banfield, said: “Expectations for 2014 among European shopping centre executives remains high, but high levels of unemployment across Europe, funding for new development and the challenges of maintaining a quality tenant mix in secondary centres remains a concern for many.”

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