Korean Gallagher Shopping Park buy is confidence vote for UK retail
In a first for South Korean investment in the UK, an investment group has acquired a retail park in the West Midlands for £175 million, despite the generally unfavourable atmosphere for the British bricks and mortar retail sector at present.
The almost 200,000 sq ft Gallagher Shopping Park in Wednesbury currently hosts a range of retailers, including Next and TK Maxx. Just off the M6, it has been bought by Korea Asset Investment Management (KAIM) from KKR, which has spent £17 million on upgrading it in the past few years.
It’s the biggest single asset sale in the UK retail warehouse sector so far in 2018 and the first buy in the sector for Korean investors.
Sangmin Lee, chief investment officer of KAIM, said the company was attracted to the location “by its inherent strength evidenced by the retailers’ trading performance and location.”
And that really underlines that, while UK retail in general is facing major challenges, retail parks have been among the best-performing locations for some time.
Formally home to mainly-DIY superstores and supermarkets, in recent years the country’s retail parks have expanded their fashion offer in a big way and have also provided the space for retailers such as Next to offer as full a product range as possible in a cost-effective location. Adding restaurants and other leisure option into the mix has also enhanced their appeal.
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