Data derived from the first Buyer Registration Index positively shows an increase of 65 per cent in retail registration figures from 27 April - shortly after the UK government announced the beginning of the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions - to 22 June 2020.
At its peak, data analysis shows a sharp rise of 105 per cent in registration figures from 27 April to the beginning of June, which may be as a result of lockdown measures seeing their biggest relaxation to date, as the suggestion of opening pubs and restaurants in England was announced around this time, and retail buyers saw further hope in the regrowth of the UK economy. The uptick in registrations suggests an increase in market activity, that buyers were actively seeking out business opportunities again.
Christie & Co expects this general trajectory of increased activity to be maintained, particularly as banks begin to focus more actively on new lending.
For additional context relative to the UK’s transition out of the nationwide lockdown, the Index results are overlaid against vehicle traffic data. There is a positive correlation between overall website derived new buyer activity and vehicle traffic movements which have grown by 70 per cent and 89 per cent respectively since 27 April.
Steve Rodell, Managing Director of Retail at Christie & Co, comments, “There is a clear pattern emerging in the specialist retail market from new buyers and, in particular, new applicants. The uptick in activity, as illustrated in our new Buyer Registration Index, suggests that buyers are actively seeking out business opportunities again. Covid-19 has shone a very positive light on the convenience industry and local shops are now in higher demand than ever. Since 20 March, the Retail team has agreed 46 deals and remains very active, fielding an increased number of enquiries for businesses in the sector as buyers look for new opportunities. This is almost as many as the same time last year, during ‘normal’ market conditions. We have also been achieving the asking price for stores despite these challenging times, due to this increase in demand.
Going forward, as lockdown measures lift further, we expect above normal retail sales to subside a little, but convenience focussed businesses to remain ahead of ‘Pre-Covid-19’ levels.”
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