Lease Expense Management for shopping centres and out of town retail.


Retail occupiers continue to face difficult trading conditions with both inflation and the cost of living problems impacting on retail footfall and consumer spending.   They are still facing increasing property occupancy costs, driven by inflation, instability in the utilities market and labour shortages.  Shopping Centre Service Charge budgets are on average increasing by 8% in 2024.

As a result, it’s never been more important to identify opportunities for cost saving, particularly in service charge and other lease expenses.

The UK retail market is highly competitive, footfall to physical stores has declined and consumer behaviour is changing.  Retailers must balance customers sustainability requirements with investment in both the physical and digital shopping experience, all at a time when their own costs are rising.

By identifying areas of cost reduction across your portfolio and realising quick savings opportunities, more cash will be available for investment back into the business.

Assure Consulting is at the forefront of lease expense management for shopping centres and out of town retail. Retailers work with Assure Consulting’s team of experts to gain control and value for money from recurring financial liabilities including service charges and insurance recharges.

Individual surveyors were taking an inconsistent approach to service charge management. This ranged from spending little time and authorising payments without question, to spending too much time on low value issues.

We now have control over our service charge spend and the comfort that each payment is being correctly and consistently challenged, with the additional benefit that our surveyors can focus their time on high-value, business critical issues.

The costs/return equation shows a clear benefit without even taking the reduced management time into account.

Out of town retail parks service charges are increasing at a rate of 18% (Q4 2023), this upward pressure is being seen across all cost categories, with the greatest increases being Utilities and Major Works.  Read our latest Index.

Shopping Centre service charge budgets are now increasing at a rate of 8% (Q4 2023), this ascending pressure is primary due to the impact of rising Utilities, M&E Services and Staff Costs relating to cleaning and security.  Read our latest Index.


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