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LONDON-For the first time the UK’s largest shopping malls have become the worst-performing sub-sector of the retail property sector, according to Donaldsons. Rents in the largest malls of over 500,000 sf only grew by 1.5% in the year to June 2002. But shopping centres as a whole saw 2.7% annual growth and high street shops saw 5.7% growth.

Bryan Duncan, Head of Retail at Donaldsons, said: “This really does challenge the orthodox view of shopping centres – that big is automatically better. The traditional out-performance of these giant shopping centres has been weakening over the last couple of years but it will come as a shock to many to see that they are now actually bottom of the rental growth pile.”

Donaldsons’ analysis of tenancies across UK shopping found that the level of vacant shop units fell to 4.7% of all space, down from 5% last year. However, in Scotland 8.5% of all shopping centre space is currently empty.

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