The European shopping-centre industry has benefitied from rising confidence since the start of 2013, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
Despite January’s unfavourable weather and rising unemployment in many markets across Europe, and ongoing pressure on disposable incomes, current business conditions were judged significantly better than a year ago and improving month-on-month.
This was one of the main findings of the ICSC's Euro-shop Index, its pan-European survey of shopping centre industry business conditions.
ICSC said that sales and footfall saw impressive growth, and occupancy held up well, regardless of several recent retailer failures. This unexpected turnaround in industry conditions is expected to continue as the majority of executives participating in the survey are feeling positive about the outlook for the next six months, the report suggested.
The survey results were compiled from responses of European shopping- centre executives collected between 16-31 January 2013.
ICSC’s Euro-Shop Index, the survey’s summary index of current and future business conditions, rose to 61% in January, an 18 percentage point improvement from the previous month and significantly better than a year ago when it stood at 42%. In fact, the latest figure is the highest the index has been since April 2011.
The Euro-Shop Current-Conditions Index, which measures the performance of four components (sales, footfall, occupancy and re-leasing rent), saw a sharp upturn, moving from declining conditions at year-end of only 44% to a growth level of 58% in January.
The latest figure is considerably higher than a year ago when the index was in contraction of 42%. Much of this is due to the performance of the sales and footfall components, which are up by 29 percentage points and 35 percentage points respectively year-on-year.