Down-at-heel shopping centres and out-of-town discount stores are experiencing surging sales in spite of the economic downturn as consumers turn bargain hunters to keep costs down.

Shopping centres and high streets that host discount retailers are faring well, according to property owners, in spite of widespread gloom across the retail sector.

The strong performance in budget retail runs counter to the trend in the wider British market, which has experienced a rising number of retailers going bust and growing vacancies among many high streets and centres. Retail sales values fell 1.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis in February.

However, St Modwen, which owns a number of dated shopping centres, said trading was holding up well across its portfolio. Even shops that recently became vacant have been quickly filled with new tenants.

Financial Times