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Oxfordshire: Retail resilience amid pandemic distruption

By Jo Whittle
3 February 2021
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White Commercial Surveyors has successfully handled and overseen a spate of retail shop openings along the northern sector of the M40 during 2020 and 2021, despite disrupted trading conditions created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

White Commercial, strategically located along the M40 corridor, has leased retail accommodation to a variety of retailers during this period including 10 Horse Fair, Banbury to Vanjordans coffee shop, sold Banbury’s ex-post office building, 57-58 High Street, to a property developer, leased 37-38 Church Lane to Fit Cookie Supplements, 22 High Street, Banbury let to Pepe’s Piri Piri Restaurant, 1-2 Malting Square, Yaxley for use as a pound shop and mobile phone repair, 6a Causeway, Bicester let to Gemini Hairdressers, 30 Bridge Street for use as a gym on the first floor and an international supermarket on the ground floor, 40a High Street, Banbury to The Italian Larder food store and other entrepreneurs looking to provide local and regional services to the regions expanding population and economy.

Retail-resilianceThe M40 corridor continues to witness significant growth with a rapidly expanding population – likely to increase with future de-centralisation from the UK’s largest cities and changing working patterns created by the pandemic.

Oxfordshire already has one of the strongest economies in the UK, contributing £23 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK exchequer in 2017 and has one of the highest concentrations of innovation assets in the world, with universities, science, technology and business parks at the forefront of global innovation in transformative technologies and sectors; such as fusion technology, autonomous vehicles, quantum computing, cryogenics, space, life sciences and digital health.

Chris White, managing director of White Commercial comments “Despite the pandemic creating uncertain trading conditions, we have seen an improvement in the ‘take-up’ of retail accommodation in the Banbury and Bicester regions. We consider that this is fuelled by many entrepreneurs in this successful and expanding corridor who have seen relevant market opportunities to open retail outlets; providing a direct and personal service to local and regional customer and population”.

More covid-related uncertainty is expected along with substantial impact upon the high street as the shift from ‘brick stores’ to electronic sales via the internet structurally alters the shape of the retailing environment. Government statistics have just confirmed that the number of new businesses increased by 51,269 (30.2%) in the third quarter of 2020, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. This is the largest quarter three year on year increase since 2012.

View White Commercial’s current retail availability flyer and latest ‘White Wire’ with all recent commercial property news in the region.