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Is the worst to come for the UK high street?

The announcement of record losses by UK property giant British Land has prompted many analysts to revisit their forecasts for the UK retail sector over the coming weeks and months. There had been a general consensus forming regarding a potential recovery in the short to medium term but these figures, and accompanying statement, appear to have dashed any hopes of a short-term bounce. While British land is centred upon the office sector it also has significant retail assets which have fallen in value and do not yet appear to have reached the bottom of the cycle.

As other property companies also come under pressure there are concerns that tenants may feel the crunch especially those who are struggling to survive at this moment in time. There are also significant retail assets up for sale, as reflected in the 50% sale of British Land's share of the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, which many feel are being sold off at rock bottom prices.

As rental yields continue to come under pressure and more and more tenants continue to fall by the wayside there are growing concerns for many UK retailers. A number are struggling with cash flow as business levels fail to respond to various UK government economic packages.

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