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Industry News

European Links: News from Croatia, Slovenia, the UK and more

June 15, 2018

Royal wedding helped boost UK retail sales in May
British retail sales increased for a second month in a row in May, thanks in part to the royal wedding and warm weather. Overall sales volumes rose by 1.3 per cent month on month, according to the Office for National Statistics. In the three months to May, sales increased by 0.9 per cent, versus a 0.2 increase in the three months to April, the agency said. Compared with a year earlier, sales volumes were up by 3.9 per cent, the biggest increase in a year. Reuters

Slovenian retail centre tests cryptocurrencies
A new shopping centre in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is testing virtual-currency payment systems. A group of 150 individuals is testing virtual currencies across 24 businesses at the BTC City Ljubljana, a centre with some 500 stores. Prime Minister Miro Cerar has visited the so-called crypto hub and bought a cup of coffee using cryptocurrencies. “The government is aware of Slovenia’s involvement in the global flows, and with our vision of modernization and digitization promotion in all areas, we are bringing to the fore the introduction of new technologies," he said. "We thus recognize blockchain technology as an exceptional opportunity: In this respect, Slovenia is at the forefront and one of the most recognized blockchain destinations in Europe.” Use The Bitcoin

Trimming fat House of Fraser is to close 31 of its shops, including its flagship store on London's Oxford Street, by 2019 as part of a rescue deal

Westfield Croydon obtains final green light
Croydon Council approved a compulsory purchase order on the final parcel of land needed to proceed with the construction of the £1.4 billion retail project planned by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Hammerson. Work is scheduled to begin next year, with completion set for 2023. Plans call for a John Lewis, a Waitrose, some entertainment tenants and about 1,000 homes. Croydon Guardian

France's Casino plans for asset sale to reduce debt
French supermarket giant Casino intends to complete some €1.5 billion worth of asset sales by early next year to bring its debt burden down to about €1 billion before the end of this year. Half the asset sales will be executed this year and the remainder early next, the company said. Reuters

Croatian centre adds 2,000 square metres
The first stage of the expansion of Arena Centar has been completed, adding about 2,000 square metres to what is already the largest shopping centre in Zagreb, Croatia, and an additional 5,500 square metres is still to come. During this stage, 10 stores were relocated and many other stores refreshed their concepts and expanded their offerings. Across

UK retail property values declined in May: CBRE
The value of UK commercial property grew by 0.3 per cent in May, up from the 0.1 per cent reported in April, according to the CBRE UK monthly index. Retail-sector capital values decreased ­by 0.3 per cent in May, the fifth straight month of flat or falling capital growth for the sector. Capital values of high-street properties declined by ­0.3 per cent, and they declined by ­0.5 per cent at shopping centres. Retail rental values fell by ­0.2 per cent over the month. Property Magazine International

N Brown Group to close all 20 stores
British high-street apparel retailer N Brown Group wants to close all 20 of its stores and then operate online only. The company, which serves women who are about 30 or older, started as a direct-to-consumer concern. “We continue at pace our journey to become a global online retailer," said CEO Angela Spindler. "This will underpin our future growth, both in the UK and internationally." Reuters

Lendlease, Starwood buy stake in London's Silvertown Quays regeneration project
Australia’s Lendlease and Starwood Capital Group purchased a 50 per cent stake in The Silvertown Partnership from First Base, Chelsfield Properties and Macquarie Capital. Silvertown Partnership holds development rights in the urban renewal project Silvertown Quay, in London's East End. With an estimated end-development value of about €4 billion, Silvertown Quays will provide some 7 million square feet of residential and commercial space. IPE Real Assets

Inditex reports record 1Q revenues
Zara parent Inditex reported record-breaking revenues in its first quarter, a net sales increase of 2 per cent, which helped drive gross profits up by 2.6 per cent, to €3.3 billion. Group CEO Pablo Isla said this shows that “the strength of the integrated store and online model, bolstered by continued innovation, is driving solid growth and notable job creation”. Retail Gazette

By Brannon Boswell

Executive Editor, Commerce + Communities Today

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