Investors' Journal

July 2015

Growth in casual dining feeds the UK leisure sector

A notable feature of the retail landscape in recent years has been the growing prominence of certain leisure occupiers, notably casual dining chains. As many traditional high-street retailers have closed, these have often stepped in to take up the vacant space. Meanwhile, many new and existing shopping centres are being designed to have a larger leisure component.

This document explores the recent trends in eating out and determines whether they are sustainable in the years ahead.

Key findings

  • Dining out held up well during the recession with casual dining chains proving to be the big winners
  • For a number of structural reasons, consumer demand for these chains is strong and they should continue to expand
  • This should be positive for occupier demand in shopping centres and on high streets, especially in regional cities and towns
  • This is also positive for the retail sector, especially in occupier markets, though values should be supported too
  • In the longer run, however, the poor financial outlook for the current younger generation may act as a brake on the sector's expansion.

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