Bristol has one of the highest growth rate forecasts outside London and is in prime position to lead the region out of recession, according to research by property advisors Jones Lang LaSalle.
Research revealed at the firm’s South West Market Review, entitled The Winning Edge, predicts a growth rate of 11.4% in 2013 – equal to Manchester, and in the top five outside the capital.
Growth in high value jobs in Bristol and the surrounding area will be second only to London, outperforming major cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.
Jones Lang LaSalle is also predicting that online retail will offer huge opportunities in the property sector, particularly in Bristol and the South West, despite the doom and gloom in the retail sector with high profile casualties in HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster.
Paul Baker, director industrial & logistics agency, Bristol, pictured, said: “Sheds are the new shops. Retailers are finally coming to terms with the rapid rise in smartphones and tablets. Some 64% of smartphone users in the UK shop online via their mobile. They are embracing multi-channel retailing - that’s bricks, clicks and flicks.
“The changing retail landscape is impacting directly on the distribution market too. The ‘value’ retailers are taking space to serve their expanding store network with Oak Furnitureland and Home Bargains following in the footsteps of food retailers like Co-op, Morrisons and now Asda in taking large distribution centres across the South West.”
There are 37m shoppers online in the UK, the fastest growing online market in Europe. The product has to get from the retailer to the customer. In the case of the food retailers this is often picked direct from stores and delivered to homes. However online retailers like Amazon use the parcel network and companies like Geopost and Hermes Parcelnet, who have active requirements right across the South West as a direct result.
Mr Baker added: “And it won’t stop here… the next big thing in retail distribution will be so-called ‘dark sheds’ – virtual stores designed entirely to serve online orders, rather than picking stock from supermarket stores. We have already seen these emerging around London.”
Guests at Jones Lang LaSalle’s Winning Edge Market Review were also addressed by Olympic champion rower Alan Campbell, who is sponsored by Jones Lang LaSalle. The single sculler shared his experience and tactics for maintaining ‘the Winning Edge’ with 200 business representatives from across the region.