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The business of retail destinations

The business of retail destinations

March 2017 • £8.00

Leisure leader Westquay Watermark opens

19 Ireland

Growth in Ireland's retail market is starting to slow

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24 Parking

Parking operators raise the bar

36 SCMC 17

Preview of the Shopping Centre Management Conference

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Editor Graham Parker 07956 231078

Editor’s letter

Editorial Assistant Iain Hoey 0141 222 5385 Sales Manager Trudy Whiston 01293 416090 Events Sales Manager Graham Harvey 01474 247032 Senior Designer Richard Chaudhry 0141 222 5300 Designer Lisa Deakin 0141 222 5388 Managing Director Antony Begley 0141 222 5380 Editorial Board Carl Foreman, Moorgarth; Byron Lewis, Mall Solutions Europe; Andrew McCall, The ROI Team; Howard Morgan, RealService; John Prestwich, James Taylor, Workman; David Tudor-Morgan, British Land No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publishers. JLD Media is operated by 55 North Ltd under licence from Stephens & George Magazines Ltd. The Publishers accept no responsibility for any statements made in signed contributions or in those reproduced from other sources, nor for claims made in any advertisements. Shopping Centre is available on subscription. UK & Ireland £96; Overseas £150. Shopping Centre is published monthly. ISSN 0964-1793 | Printed by Stephens & George Ltd Shopping Centre, 55 North Ltd, 19 Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 6AY

All rights reserved © 55 North Ltd 2017


The issue of Uniform Business Rates has suddenly rocketed up the political agenda with pressure mounting on the chancellor to make concessions. The problem is, with only weeks to go until the new bills land on retailers’ door-

mats, it’s really too late. The manifest unfairness of the system has been evident for years, and it’s been exacerbated by successive governments’ penny-pinching refusal to hold regular revaluations. Now, with the Daily Mail baying for blood and Tory MPs in the home counties getting restive, the government might be stung into action. But any concession to support small businesses in the South East will be too little and too late. The issue of local government

funding needs to be taken out of the hands of politicians. Of course businesses must contribute to the cost of providing local services, but a system that leaves the government collecting more in rates than the landlord does in rent cannot be right. It’s time for an independent look at alternatives. How about a US-style local sales tax? Graham Parker Editor Shopping Centre

CONTENTS NEWS & ANALYSIS 05 06 07 08 12 14 16

Standard Life launches Lincoln scheme Oxford opening date confirmed Leisure extension for Kingsgate Land Securities embraces customer analysis Westquay Watermark opens in Southampton Washington goes solar AEW starts Basingstoke revamp

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Ireland – Growth in the Irish retail market is slowing Security – The Mall Blackburn has overhauled its CCTV Parking – Car parks are becoming more welcoming SCMC – Looking ahead to the Shopping Centre Management Conference in Brighton

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REGULARS 44 46 46

Data – Retail facts & figures People – Mall Luton raises £60,000 Moves – all the latest job moves

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Standard Life launches Lincoln scheme Standard Life Investments has lodged a planning application with the City of Lincoln Council for the redevelopment of the St Marks site, which currently houses a shopping centre and retail park on either side of the River Witham. Under the proposals the existing 34 units would be replaced by 355,000 sq ft of retail, 82,500 sq ft of F&B, 1,100 student housing units, 150 flats, a 130-room hotel and an 1,100-space multi-storey car park. The scheme could potentially house a multiplex cinema as well. A public consultation in November 2016 received overwhelming local support with nearly 90 per cent of people who provided

feedback on the proposals saying they welcomed the development. David Stewart of Standard Life Investments said: “We’re confident that our proposals have the potential to significantly enhance this important gateway to the city centre by attracting new retailers, creating new investment and housing, and generating between 1,400 and 2,000 new jobs in Lincoln. We’re very encouraged by the positive reaction we’ve received to date from local people.” If planning permission is granted and other key milestones are achieved, work could begin in 2020 with the entire project potentially being completed by the end of 2023 or early 2024. Montagu Evans is advising Standard Life.

House of Fraser signs in Chester

Commercialisation wins

Cheshire West and Chester Council has signed House of Fraser and a four-star Crowne Plaza hotel and spa for the Chester Northgate development in Chester city centre. House of Fraser has signed an agreement to open a new 100,000-sq ft store while an agreement has also been signed with the owners of the Crowne Plaza hotel to relocate within the Chester Northgate development. The new 167-bed hotel will also feature a rooftop

Asset Space has been instructed by Hammerson on commercialisation initiatives at Grand Central in Birmingham while the Crown Estate has appointed Access Point at Fosse Park in Leicester. Grand Central, which launched in 2015, sits above Birmingham New Street Station and links into The Bullring. Asset Space will be working closely with Hammerson to create diverse and vibrant mall activity that enhances the customer experience. Asset Space has also recently been appointed on the commercial income management at The Grosvenor Centre in Northampton as well as Eagles Meadow in Wrexham meaning it now operates on 25 shopping centres and 78 retail parks throughout the UK and Ireland. And at Fosse Park, the Crown Estate is boosting its customer proposition by entering a new partnership with Access Point Commercialisation. The 560,000-sq ft shopping park recently underwent a revamp which saw Primark, Pandora, Superdrug and JD Sport added to the brand mix. Further refurbishment will enhance the shopping experience with new fascia and improved pedestrian areas and commercialisation will be the next step to add engagement, variety and entertainment to Fosse’s customer journey.

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restaurant and will include both a spa and a 600-capacity conference facility, the biggest in the city. As well as the department store and hotel, Chester Northgate will provide a six-screen Picturehouse cinema, around 70 stores, cafés and restaurants, more than 70 homes, and the city’s largest car park. Chester Northgate is being developed by Cheshire West and Chester Council, assisted by development manager Rivington Land.


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Oxford opening date confirmed The Westgate Oxford Alliance has confirmed that its £440m Westgate Oxford development will open its doors to the public in October 24 2017. The launch date, in less than nine months’ time, will ensure that retailers benefit from the Christmas trading period,. The new 800,000-sq ft Westgate Oxford currently stands at over 70 per cent pre-let and in solicitor’s hands following the recent announcement of new high street and premium retailers, including: Mint Velvet, Smashbox, Gant, Hotel Chocolat, Smiggle, Guess, Body Shop, T2, Trotters, Accessorize, Lush and Aveda. These high street brands will sit

alongside a 140,000-sq ft John Lewis flagship store and a host of British and international names such as Hugo Boss, Jo Malone, Ted Baker, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, & Other Stories, Mac, Joules and Victoria’s Secret Pink. The centre also features a vibrant leisure offer to include Dirty Bones, Pho, Polpo, Pizza Pilgrims, Cinnamon Kitchen, The Breakfast Club, The Alchemist and Sticks’n’Sushi. Bert Martin, development director for the Westgate Oxford Alliance said: “Visitors to Westgate can expect a firstclass line-up of retail, food and leisure brands that will further cement Oxford as one of the most attractive cities in the country to spend time in.”

Frogmore portfolio enters administration Property insolvency specialists Arron Kendall and Simon Thomas of Moorfields Advisory have been appointed administrators over three companies within the Frogmore group following the borrower’s failure to repay the loans when due. The assets comprise the Broadwalk shopping centre in Bristol, Port Arcades shopping centre in Ellesmere Port and Belle Vale shopping centre in Liverpool.

The shopping centres will continue to trade as normal while the administrators develop a disposal strategy. The Broadwalk shopping centre in Bristol has been established for over 40 years and enjoys a central location with access to the high street. Comprising 221,000 sq ft, it contains over 70 units and benefits from its own multi-storey car park.

Port Arcades shopping centre in Ellesmere Port is located in the heart of the town centre occupying 346,000 sq ft with over 60 retail units and car park for over 1,000 cars. Belle Vale shopping centre in Liverpool occupies over 278,000 sq ft, mainly operating as a convenience and discount-led shopping centre with over 60 units and has its own multistorey car park.

Liffey Valley consent overturned on appeal Hines’ plans for a major extension at the Liffey Valley shopping centre, west of Dublin, have received a setback with An Bord Pleanala, the Irish planning appeals board, overturning South Dublin Council’s original consent. Last summer the council granted planning permission for a 22,000-sq m SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

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development to include up to 60 new stores, a new civic plaza and a 2,500 seat Olympic-sized indoor ice arena. Even through the council had earlier refused to allow any additional parking at the centre, the board found that the proposal would cause “serious traffic congestion” on the nearby M50 and the N4.

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Leisure extension for Kingsgate WD Kingsgate has been granted planning consent to build a new leisure extension at the Kingsgate shopping centre in Huddersfield. Over the next few years the scheme will be expanded by 50 per cent with a new F&B-led mall being built through to the nearby High Street. The development will bring a new cinema as well as restaurant units to the centre, and will allow both Next and JD Sports to upgrade and expand. The state-of-the-art new cinema will be leased to The Light, and WD Kingsgate has

also received planning consent to expand the Next store to 25,000 sq ft while JD Sports will be upgrading from 3,000 sq ft to an 8,000-sq ft store. Peter Everest, CEO of WD Kingsgate, said: “We are responding to a need from our primary catchment to have somewhere to spend long periods of time, from day into evening. The new restaurants and The Light cinema will go a long way to improving the perception of the nighttime economy in Huddersfield, but this is just the start – the offer at Kingsgate is going to

Speke starts on site

British Land and Hercules Unit Trust have started construction of a £23m leisure extension at New Mersey, Speke. British Land is doubling the amount of food and drink across its retail portfolio over the next five years. The 66,000-sq ft development will be anchored by an 11-screen, 37,000-sq ft Cineworld cinema featuring Superscreen technology. The extension will also deliver an additional 29,000 sq ft of restaurant space across six units. Pre-lets have been secured with TGI Fridays (7,000 sq ft), Nando’s (4,700 sq ft) and Wagamama (3,500 sq ft) and

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discussions are progressing on the remaining three restaurants. The restaurant element will open in late spring 2018 with the cinema opening in summer 2018. British Land asset manager James Varley said: “The New Mersey leisure extension will significantly improve the centre’s leisure and dining options, enhancing our customers’ experience and creating Places People Prefer. Across our retail portfolio, we are investing to create outstanding places that are in line with peoples’ changing lifestyles.” British Land is represented by Wilkinson Williams and Cushman & Wakefield.

transform dramatically over the next few years with a complete F&B offer.”

Coventry council appoints Shearer Coventry City Council has appointed Shearer Property Group to create the City Centre South development that will transform the heart of Coventry. City Centre South will transform some of the most out-dated areas of the city centre, including Bull Yard, Shelton Square, City Arcade and Hertford Street. And it will make the city the second biggest shopping destination in the West Midlands. The development proposal includes a major department store, three major flagship stores, up to 50 new retail units, a multi-storey car park, a cinema and other leisure uses, restaurants, private and rented residential and student accommodation and an hotel. The whole scheme will connect the city's much loved, circular market with the rest of the centre and the developer is aiming to have the development open for business by 2022. Guy Shearer from Shearer Property Group said: “This site provides the opportunity to deliver a transformational scheme that will put Coventry back on the map as a retail and leisure destination. Our scheme embraces the concept of creating not just a major step change for Coventry but repositioning the city as a true metropolitan destination within the Midlands conurbation that will bring new retailers to the city and attract shoppers from a much wider catchment.” MARCH 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE

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Voice of experience Land Securities launches portfolio-wide guest experience measurement programme

Land Securities has signed an agreement with Service Management Group to provide guest experience measurement tools and analysis across its portfolio of retail and leisure destinations. The launch follows a successful pilot over the last three years at Bluewater. In an industry first, SMG has been appointed at a portfolio level to measure and analyse customer satisfaction at many of Land Securities’ assets. SMG’s technology, which uses online surveys, real time analysis of results and instant messaging of key findings, will also be used to track guests’ responses to events, new guest experience initiatives and the wider retailer experience at each asset. SMG began its partnership with Bluewater in 2013 and has proved invaluable in helping Land Securities to deliver an enjoyable experience for guests by addressing short term opportunities, as well as prioritising future investment decisions based on customer feedback. Key highlights from Bluewater include: l 96 per cent of guests have a good/ excellent visit to Bluewater l 83 per cent of guests are highly likely to return to Bluewater l 79 per cent are highly satisfied with the SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

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friendliness of hosts l 79 per cent are highly likely to recommend Bluewater to friends or family Jat Sahota, Land Securities’ head of commercial, said: “The initiative is a reflection of the fundamental role guest experience plays at the heart of Land Securities’ approach to managing successful retail and leisure destinations. The benefits are wide ranging and extensive, which is allowing us to focus on enjoyment to encourage guests to return more often and to share their experiences with friends and family via social media. As Bluewater demonstrates, this leads directly to increased footfall and sales. “SMG has been a great partner at Bluewater, working with us to help shape our offer so that our retailers and restaurants achieve even greater levels of success. Rolling out the programme across our retail and leisure portfolio reinforces Land Securities’ innovative customer focused approach to asset management and the market leading position this helps us to occupy.” SMG’s managing director Jeremy Michael added: “While the best stores and the best products are fundamental to the success of any retail and leisure destination, the

quality of the experience provided by the centre overall is what really drives consumer loyalty. Our partnership with Land Securities at Bluewater has demonstrated the value of proactively measuring how guests view the experience, positively affecting behaviour to encourage guests to spend more time and money at Bluewater.” SMG is a global leader in customer experience measurement, helping more than 350 brands around the world to listen, understand and act on customer feedback and behavioural data – including partnerships with dozens of leading retail brands in the UK. SMG data is used to measure elements of the guest experience, understand key drivers of guest satisfaction and guide the organisation on areas for focus. As well, SMG’s proprietary model creates direct financial linkage between guest satisfaction, loyalty and sales. According to recent research by SMG, customers that are highly satisfied with their experience are likely to spend 40 per cent more. Staff assistance has the greatest influence on overall satisfaction, with staff knowledge increasing basket size by 15 per cent, while effective problem resolution builds brand loyalty, increasing the likelihood that customers will both return and recommend.

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F&B is Quay Boosting Westquay’s total floorspace to over 1m sq ft, Hammerson’s first leisure-led development is finally completed.


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ANALYSIS The shopping centre is fast becoming the architectural landmark of the city centre. It’s about creating that destination that is not only the first thing you associate with a location but the reason you want to visit. For a historic city such as Southampton, creating a landmark that matched the existing furniture was to be a delicate task. With an already booming shopping centre, Hammerson set itself the task of creating a leisure-led extension to Southampton’s Westquay that would turn the site into a true destination. The Southampton scheme has proven its potential since its opening in 2000, and, according to Guy Wells, development manager at Hammerson, the leisure led extension was simply a fulfilment of public expectation – although arguably it has surpassed this expectation several times over. “When we look at the economic downturn of 200810 and beyond,” says Wells, “where we had retailers that had gone into administration in the UK, the administrator generally kept the Westquay store open and we maintain an occupancy rate of 98-98.5 per cent.” “The difference we’ve seen since the scheme opened is a huge change in consumer need and want of demanding more of their shopping visits. Customers want to do more than just shop – they want to eat, to drink, to go to the cinema. They want to combine the visit to do a number of things. “In our 2011 review, we established that the type of retail we had put into the scheme was no longer suitable. We had a larger number of smaller units when we should have focused on was the change in consumer need and want in providing more catering and leisure rather than just purely expanding the retail – which led us to where we are today.” Where they are today is no mean feat. The finished development is transportive. It genuinely feels as though you are a world away from an English city, unsurprising given that award-winning architects ACME were largely behind the scheme, and worked with a team of international expert developers. With any large-scale development, there were several planning constraints to adhere to. Its location proved problematic in that it is situated beside the historic city walls, with waterfront views that had to be protected. This was overcome by raising the 11,700 sq ft, 10-screen De Lux cinema in a ‘floating’ structure, seemingly unsupported as it looms over the main build and allowing for a through-view of the water. Rather than being a hindrance, the historic wall became a focal point for the newly designed Esplanade. Westquay Watermark now sits with its many restaurants looking out at the rustic plaza. “We had to make sure that the new development was a minimum of 45m away from the medieval walls,” Wells explains, “and as part of that to create a new city plaza. The third constraint actually added to this that there’s a 7m difference in level from the site and what is the principal trading level of Southampton, which we overcame by creating a ramped promenade, giving the plaza built-in tiered seating in the form of stone steps.” The steps give the Esplanade area the feel of an ancient amphitheatre, which has so far been used as such for the staging for several events. Most notable are the light shows, which involve the plaza turning into a large, shallow pool while colourful projections are shone on the opposing city walls and reflect in the water. Wells

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is confident that outdoor venue will be well utilised, with plans for year-round events including local markets and bike meets. The restaurants are, of course, the real reason to make the journey. “The vast majority (75 per cent) of the caterers that we signed up and are now trading or fitting out are new to the city,” Wells elaborates. “We wanted the quality casual dining on the lower promenade, all with external terraces. We strategically placed the different operators in the different parts of the building based on who their customer is – from family dining internally to the aspirational dining offers externally. “What we know is that where you marry up the right brands and diverse tenant mix and combine it with the food, beverage, dining, leisure offer with retail it satisfies consumer need which is reflected back in increased footfall and increased dwell time. We designed the esplanade to be a natural amphitheatre and within that we have an events programme for all year round.” Coming in at 950,000 sq ft, there was a lot of space to fill, but with the £85m mixed-use scheme opening 95% pre-let, mainly to brands new to the city, it was a gamble that paid off. First time additions to Southampton include: All Bar One, Bill’s, Byron, Cabana, Cau, Cosmo, Five Guys, Franco Manca, Jamie’s Italian, Kupp, L’Osteria, Red Dog Saloon, Thaikun, The Diner, The Real Greek, Wahaca, Zizzi, Hollywood Bowl and De Lux Cinema, the majority of which are already trading. Wells was particularly enthusiastic about authentic world kitchen eatery, Cosmo. To top off the restaurant offering, inside the scheme are spaces for pop-up food vendors, allowing a rolling mix of different cuisines to trial their business in a high-footfall area. The mains and water needs for these are accommodated for by covered boxes which blend in to the interior design. “Westquay is the principal retail destination on the central south coast,” says Wells. “It’s been underprovided in catering, and there’s pent up demand from dining operators to be represented here in the city. We had John Lewis customers who were coming into Westquay, shopping at John Lewis but not necessarily coming out and dining because there wasn’t the available offer.” This gap had now, surely, been filled. “It’s about is creating desirability,” Wells concludes. “It’s about creating destinations that restaurants and retailers want to have representation in, it’s about creating a destination shoppers want to come to and it’s about creating environments where the indigenous population want to live, shop and work in.”


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Washington goes solar M&G Real Estate is installing the UK’s largest shopping centre solar panel system at the Galleries shopping centre in Washington, Tyne and Wear as part of a portfoliowide commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its centres. At the Galleries M&G Real Estate has installed 1,317 individual photovoltaic panels on an otherwise unused part of the centre roof. The system covers an area of 41,000 sq ft – equivalent to a professional football pitch –and it is expected to generate around 315,000 kWh of electricity, enough to power 68 UK households for a year and saving around 165 tonnes of CO2 annually. It is anticipated that 95 to 100 per cent of the electricity it produces will be consumed on site and ‘sold’ to the centre to repay the considerable upfront investment of its installation over time, with very little excess exported to the National Grid. John Duxbury, head of retail and asset management at M&G Real Estate explains why M&G decided to finance the project as the landlord. “We’re investing to take an income return,” he says, “so we needed scale. We’ll sell the electricity to the centre at the tariff rate and it’ll power a good proportion of the common parts.” He estimates the installation will provide M&G with a return of SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

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around 10 per cent pa, and for M&G the key point is that this beats the return on many property investments at the moment. As a result Duxbury said M&G is looking at similar schemes on other retail sites including, for the first time, retail parks. The investment at Washington is in line with the long-standing commitment by M&G Real Estate to improve the energy efficiency of its UK shopping centre portfolio. “As a business, we are committed to reducing the amount of energy we use and to shifting the balance so that our power comes from renewable sources more of the time,” says Duxbury. He sees three forces driving M&G towards a greener approach to property investment. “Our investors are calling for it, and they ask difficult questions of us,” he says. “Retailers want to see costs managed especially at a time when they’re facing headwinds, and consumers are increasingly aware of it.” Other initiatives have included the roll-out of innovative energy

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monitoring systems, to better manage usage and limit energy wastage. For example at Manchester Arndale, the roll-out of innovative energy monitoring systems in partnership with specialists, EP&T, has seen electricity use drop every year since 2013 and this approach is being rolled across the entire portfolio. “We’ve already cut energy consumption across out seven managed centres by 29 per cent,” says Duxbury, “which represents a saving of over £600,000 for both our retailers and investor returns.” There are three main ways in which this has been achieved. First is education and a focus on best practice, encouraging centre teams and store staff to avoid wasting light and heat. Second is the use of smart technology to monitor consumption and identify equipment that is running inefficiently. And third is the use of LED lamps and PIR sensors to reduce the burden of lighting a centre. Although M&G took on the burden at Washington Duxbury says smaller projects with quicker paybacks – particularly relamping –can be financed through a centre’s service charge. “In our experience retailers are supportive of anything that pays back in three years or less,” he says. M&G has a dedicated Responsible Property Investment team which comes up with initiatives for the individual asset managers to implement. But equally important are actions taken at individual centre level. “The centre teams are really buying into it, Duxbury says. “We encourage knowledge-sharing across the shopping centre portfolio so it’s not just the big centres that are leading it.” Duxbury concludes: We are proud of this latest strategic investment at The Galleries that will set a new bar for environmental best practice. The creation of renewable energy from equipment installed in otherwise unused areas will help it become an exemplar centre nationally as it markedly lessens the demand for energy from carbon emitting sources.”

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Festival Place looks to the future A year after taking ownership of the million-sq ft Basingstoke mall, AEW is starting to implement plans to upgrade and extend the centre Festival Place, the million-sq ft shopping and leisure destination in Basingstoke, has boosted its retail offer with the signing of sporty footwear brand Skechers, which will be taking a 2,800-sq ft unit. Additionally, Next has opened a new anchor store in the centre, doubling the size of its previous space with a 48,000 sq ft flagship. The new store joins other anchor stores Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, and showcases its fashion, childrenswear and home ranges, as well as its Lipsy sub-brand. And Metro Bank and Greggs have opened in newly refurbished units on St John’s Square, taking 14,000- and 2,400sq ft units respectively. The deals form part of landlord AEW’s extensive asset management and refurbishment plans to improve the retailer line-up and overall performance of the centre, a year after it took ownership. AEW plans significant improvements to the casual dining offer, with the introduction of additional F&B occupiers to Queen Anne’s Walk, currently the premium pitch in the centre. The enhanced F&B will complement the 10-screen Vue Cinema, and several of the existing F&B operators have also increased the size of their units and rebranded. St John’s Square, adjacent to the pedestrian route from the main line railway station, is currently undergoing enhancement works to its public realm, creating a spacious and welcoming environment for customers to enjoy. The refurbishment works at Festival Place also extend to the car parks, which are to undergo a significant renovation, improving traffic efficiency and access to the centre. Work is scheduled to begin in March 2017. Festival Place is North Hampshire’s prime retail and F&B destination, and was ranked in the top 20 list of best shopping centres in the UK by Trevor Wood Associates. The centre already draws an annual footfall of 20 million and is home to SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

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200 shops and restaurants, including SuperDry, Zara, Apple, River Island, New Look and H&M, a 10-screen Vue Cinema, and a strong mix of restaurants, including Las Iguanas, PizzaExpress, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Nando’s, Giraffe, Pizza Hut and wagamama. Russell Jewell, head of private equity funds at AEW, said: “We’re fulfilling our promise to our customers to improve Festival Place, and, after just over a year since acquisition, substantial changes can be seen throughout. Next’s new anchor store looks great, and will act as a catalyst for investment in the centre, attracting further retail and F&B occupiers. We’re delighted to be adding Skechers to the mix of brands, and have several further exciting announcements in the pipeline.” Joint agents for Festival Place are Lunson Mitchenall and Cushman & Wakefield.

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Ireland’s growth eases After a strong year in 2016, Ireland’s retail property sector is hoping to remain steady in the face of economic uncertainty. CBRE Ireland’s latest year-end review dubbed 2016 a year of surprises, highlighting the outcome of the Brexit vote in June, the unprecedented election of billionaire property tycoon Donald Trump in November, and an unprecedentedly active year in the Irish commercial property market. And it looks as if 2017 is shaping up to be a just as busy, albeit different, year for the sector. “These seismic events will in due course influence the direction of economies the world over including Ireland’s and, by default, will have implications for the Irish property sector,” says Enda Luddy, managing director at CBRE Ireland at the launch of the firm’s annual Outlook report at the RDS. “While the Brexit result will, for the most part, be negative for the Irish economy and lead to GDP forecasts being downgraded somewhat, one of the sectors of the Irish economy that will potentially benefit is

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ANALYSIS the commercial property sector, if anticipated Brexit-related relocations from London materialise as we expect they will in 2017”. It was a strong year for the Irish property market according to the report, with 223 investment transactions of greater than €1m completed in 2016, totalling an accumulative sum of over €4.5bn. Of this amount, half was spent in the retail property sector, with €1.5bn of the total generated by the sales of Blanchardstown Town Centre and Liffey Valley shopping centres in West Dublin alone. “Activity [was brisk] in the retail sector of the economy in 2016 with many retailers expanding their presence and several new entrants emerging,” Luddy continues. “Many of the better retail schemes and high streets are now almost at full occupancy.” The report highlights reduced levels of vacancy, high levels of activity in capital city, Dublin, and a particularly strong demand from food and beverage operators in shopping centre locations. New brands to the Irish retail marketplace in 2016 included: & Other Stories, New Balance, Le Pan Quotidien, Under Armour, The Works, The Range, Five Guys, Zizzi, Xti, Prezzo and Cosmo. Brands expected to launch their first Irish stores in 2017 include lingerie specialist, Victoria’s Secret, which is due to open its new Dublin flagship store in early summer, Urban Decay, Smiggle, Homesense, Benson for Beds and Nisbets. CBRE expects prime rents will continue to rise throughout 2017, with four per cent growth in prime shopping centre rents and almost eight per cent growth for Dublin high streets projected for the coming year. The company also anticipates leases of 10 years duration to become more prevalent in many prime locations, but leases in provincial locations to continue to be more incentivised. Schemes due for completion in 2017 include an extension to the Eyre Square shopping centre in Galway, a new development at Grand Parade in Cork, and an extension to the City Square development in Waterford. Retail schemes expected to go on site in 2017 include an extension to Frascati shopping centre in Blackrock in south Dublin [pictured] and the redevelopment of Clery’s department store in Dublin city centre. CBRE asserts in its report that the incorporation of entertainment and leisure into the retail experience will continue to evolve as Irish shoppers increasingly switch back and forth between physical and virtual channels. The company expects to see heightened collaboration between landlords and retailers in an effort to improve dwell times, footfall and spend within their schemes. In slight contrast to their positive projections for a continued interest from investors, CBRE predicts the overall volume of spend in this sector and retails’ proportion of overall investment spend is expected to ease in 2017 following the trophy shopping centres that changed hands last year. SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

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In its Market in Minutes: Retail Ireland report, Savills echoes the positive outlook put forward by CBRE, stating however that GDP projections indicate there will be slowdown of market growth of around 3.4 per cent in 2017, and continued expansion of 3.1 per cent in 2018. “While the retail economy dashboard continues to tell a positive story, recent data hints at something of a decoupling between macro indicators and consumer specific measures,” the report states. “The retail sales index, for example, has risen by 29.3 per cent since its trough in January 2010. Consequently today’s sales increases are naturally translating into smaller-andsmaller percentage rises.” Savills’ report claims political turbulence due to Brexit and the delay in forming Ireland's own Government may have adversely impacted on the consumer mood, but that this should remain short-lived. “Given the continuing strength of the underlying macroeconomy and the favourable macro-economic forecasts, our view is that any headwind from this source is likely to be temporary. We also note that, in our econometric modelling, the impact of jobs growth on retail rents dominates the impact of movements in the consumer sentiment index by a ratio of more than 10:1.” The report echoes CBRE’s claims of the importance of the food and beverage sector, saying that it demonstrates the growing synergy between fashion shopping and casual dining which has become something of a defensive mechanism for shopping malls against the ongoing threat from online retailers. Savills claims that as the overall number of shoppers is rising, footfall in the food court areas of some of the malls that it manages is rising at twice the overall rate. According to Savills, retailer demand for occupational space should remain strong as the jobs market continues to out-perform. It highlights that rental growth has been slower, with the MSCI overall retail rents index currently rising at 7.2 per cent per annum. Its forecasting model predicts that this will gently ease over the next two years, but further rental growth of about 7 per cent is expected by mid-2018. Marie Hunt, executive director and head of research at CBRE Ireland, gives a hopeful outlook for the coming year. “Regardless of the economic or political backdrop, returns from Irish commercial real estate have been slowing for some time now following the extraordinary growth experienced in 2014 and 2015. This easing is expected to continue in 2017, particularly considering the unexpected tax changes announced in Budget 2017, which are likely to impact negatively on pricing this year. “Although the pace of rental inflation has eased, good rental growth is still forecasted to be achieved in some sectors of the market this year. Indeed, rental growth in all sectors in Dublin is forecast to be considerably higher than the European average in 2017.”

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igital technology has enabled top to bottom rationalisation of the retailing industry from logistics to online selling, but the shopping centre retail experience has been largely untouched by this revolution – until now. Mall Communications’ innovative team has developed MallVision, an advanced end-to-end digital signage solution specifically for shopping centres providing interactive wayfinding, promotional messaging, website, mobile app, and many other benefits. Much more than an auto-updatable shopping directory, MallVision builds community serving as a nexus bringing together the diverse world that makes a shopping centre tick. Drawing on the latest technologies, this holistic approach delivers the holy trinity of effective customer engagement; relevant, accurate information for consumers; and tenants’ and advertisers’ need for brand presence. Tenant sales, in particular, receive a demonstrable lift from the unrivalled spectrum of customer-driving promotional activities the system makes possible. Usage data and full reports for tracking of footfall and traffic flow are also supported. By creating a platform that links owners, tenants and shoppers together, MallVision helps our community thrive and prosper.

Directory Unit

Wayfinding Software

In another UK-first, Mall Communications is now offering the MallVision system to shopping centres across the country in a leasing package over three years with affordable monthly payments, no up-front cost, and comprehensive support and service included. Each system is custom-designed and built to order. Mall Communications completed its first major MallVision installation at the prestigious Bentall Centre, Kingston-on-Thames, in Q3 last year with a further rollout at McArthur Glen York on track for completion by the end of March. Bentall Centre director Sam Eastwood said: “working in partnership with Mall Communications, we designed and implemented a combined digital wayfinding and advertising solution. This has both enhanced our customer’s experience in The Bentall Centre and created a healthy revenue stream. Our customers and retailers have welcomed the use of this innovative navigation system, which brings our online proposition into centre and most importantly directs our customers to their chosen stores.”

Support Package

Please contact us for more information at

Come and meet us at the Shopping Centre Management Conference 2017 (SCMC 17) Stand No.28 •

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OPTIMAL SECURITY FOR THE MALL Shopping centre security specialist Zada Technology has provided The Mall Blackburn with an overhaul of its CCTV security system alongside an ongoing maintenance programme


he Mall Blackburn is benefitting from a fully upgraded CCTV camera and recording solution as well as a dedicated fibre optic cable network thanks to its ongoing relationship with shopping centre security specialist Zada Technology. The Mall Blackburn is home to 100 retail tenants in 600,000 sq ft of shopping space, including big names like Debenhams, Primark, Argos, H&M, Topshop and Next. It attracts 13.1 million visitors a year, with each visitor spending an average of 56 minutes at the centre. As well as the retail spaces, The Mall Blackburn features a market, and parking for 1,300 vehicles. With that many people coming through its doors every day, safety and security is of paramount importance. When Capital & Regional took over the former Blackburn shopping centre, it inherited a CCTV system with some serious issues. Zada was called in to evaluate the system and identified underlying issues with the network. Together, The Mall Blackburn's management and Zada agreed a maintenance contract and five year plan for the system's upgrade. At the centre of Zada and The Mall's collaborative strategy was a plan to install a fibre optic cable network throughout the shopping centre. This would be the main 'highway' for any data traffic. "With the fibre optic network, it doesn't matter if it's used for CCTV, intercoms, access control, EMS or whatever else it's theirs," Zada's Adam Parsonson-Smith says. "It's a flexible, dedicated high-speed transmission system that allows us to add to the network as needed." The fibre optic equipment was provided by networking SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

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specialist AMG Systems, and included its managed network switches. The next step in the process was to upgrade the analogue portion of the existing system, which constituted around 60 percent of the cameras, to HD networked models from Hikvision. These included static cameras, pan-tilt-zoom cameras, and Darkfighter low light models. The interior mall spaces were migrated to HD camera coverage in the first year, the external service yard areas and back of house facilities in the second year, and The Mall's extensive car parks were upgraded in year three. The recording system has also been expanded with an extra two Nuuo Crystal Titan CT-8000 network video recorders. These each include 24 terabytes of storage, bringing the total system storage to 120TB. The Mall Blackburn general manager Loraine Jones says the relationship with Zada continues to go from strength to strength. "With a professional and dedicated team the company proactively works with The Mall to enhance and improve the CCTV and associated technical equipment on an ongoing basis," Jones says. "Since we started working with Zada we have increased the number of CCTV cameras from 40 to more than 140 and the company has been extremely proactive in identifying and trialling innovative cutting edge technology. "All the improvements have helped The Mall's security team and the police to detect and deter crime. Their staff are committed, professional and extremely knowledgeable and we know we can count on them to provide reliable, round-the-clock assistance."

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The British Retail Consortium’s Retail Crime Survey has highlighted rising violence against store staff

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he BRC’s annual Retail Crime Survey has revealed that the overall number of retail crimes committed has risen to 3.6 million, with the direct financial cost of crime to the retail industry reaching £660m in 2015-16. The BRC report highlights the rise of cybercrime, but customer theft remains the most common type of crime, accounting for 75 per cent by incidents and 66 per cent of the direct cost, at £438m. The BRC Retail Crime Survey sample covered 37 per cent of the retail industry by turnover and 35 per cent by staff, accounting for 1.1 million employees. And it uncovered a growing threat after a 40 per cent increase in violence and other forms of abuse against retail workers in the past year. Last year there were 51 incidents of violence and abuse per 1,000 staff – up from 41 the previous year. The BRC says concerns are growing among retailers that existing deterrence is not effective enough, and there is growing sense among those working in the retail industry that offenders are able to act with impunity. BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson says: “These figures reflect a deeply concerning trend. Attacks on retail workers are intolerable, as are attempts to defraud customers. Retailers are doing everything possible to ensure that staff members and customers are safe and protected. But this rising tide should be stemmed through even stronger cooperation between industry, the government, law enforcement and the private security industry. “There is work to do to further improve collaboration between the UK retail industry and its partners, and raise standards of security and policing of these threats across the country.” So what can be done? Simon Chapman, managing director of top 30 security company Lodge Service says: “The data and technology is available to target and tackle this problem, together with the training that staff need to avoid or defuse situations of potential violence and danger. This has been an area of disinvestment by many retailers – when a targeted approach can reap dividends, at no extra cost." Chapman believes CCTV, tagging, guarding and other measures – in the way they are used conventionally – are not working. “A strategy based on intelligence data and focused deployment: this is the only proven way to counter the increasing professionalism and specialisation of criminals, wherever this occurs,” he insists. MARCH 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE

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Entering and exiting car parks can be a frustrating part of the shopping trip, but car park owners and operators are working with suppliers to enhance the shopper’s first and last point of contact.


t would be judicious to assume that the book is closed on seemingly simple operational devices such as car park barriers, but where there is technology, there is always scope for improved innovation. Expert parking barrier manufacturer, APT Skidata, has proven the fact with the launch of its three new parking systems to help further enhance operators manage and control their car parks. Land Securities has shown its confidence in the technology by awarding the company two significant contracts to upgrade the parking systems at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth and at Lewisham shopping centre in South London. Central to the new solution specified at both sites is the first of APT Skidata’s new offerings: Power.Gate control columns, which control entry and exit to the car park. The Power.Gate system incorporates high-resolution displays, subsequently creating an opportunity to communicate and market to the customer. The display boasts high readability under any light conditions, and can support both static advertising and live video streaming. “Power.Gate offers a number of options for advertising,” Steve Penn, sales manager at APT Skidata, explains. “Traditionally this would be static advertising panels located on the plinth and column head and the areas are ideal for giving drivers information on approaching the car park, like tariff rates, opening times or even general advertising from local businesses. “The inclusion of a 7.5 inch TFT colour screen for static notices, personalised entry, or general site information adds another dynamic, and the ability to stream video gives owners the ability to generate extra revenue by promoting their own marketing campaigns, or they can be used to present direction videos and even music videos. Alternatively, the touchscreen version provides additional functionality, for example, it can offer more entry options or pay-by-plate on exit.” In issuing tickets, Power.Gate uses APT Skidata’s Coder Unlimited and Coder Basic technology, which both have thermal print heads, for flexible ticket processing. Thermal print heads ensures a crisp durable print transfer under applied heat. The process provides the ability to print onto wax-coated products such as parking tickets, follow up tickets, and vouchers. Flexible ticket processing allows for different variations of tickets to be generated. This can be beneficial when multiple parking options are offered, and where in-store validations and vouchers are accepted.

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The Coder Unlimited produces both cross and length-wise barcode ticketing; while the Coder Basic produces only crosswise ticketing. Cross-wise ticketing enables additional space on the ticket for personalised details, marketing and secondary QR code printing. In addition to this, an RFID module is also provided and a Print@Home scanner with an optical reader for paper and paperless tickets can be displayed on smartphones. “RFID (radio frequency identification) is a technology that can be integrated into the parking application,” Penn explains. “Using electromagnetic fields, the technology enables automatic identification on entry, pay machines and exit columns. This process is enabled when an RFID card or chip is placed within range of the reader. “The RFID chip, which is located on various types of key cards or tags, can hold personalised and non-personalised information. Personal details can include user specific credentials and pre-loaded cash values, whereas non-personalised can provide general parking access and is not associated to a specific user. Multiple variations of personalised and non-personalised options can be setup through the APT Skidata parking application and third party systems utilising APT Skidata’s external interfaces.” The control columns at both sites are to be fitted with optic scanners, which will read e-tickets on smartphones or 1D or QR barcodes issued as validations, discounts or promotional vouchers on smartphones. “Validations and promotional vouchers can be used as an incentive to parkers with products such as early bird fixed rate promotions, validations linked to specific retail promotions, and money off parking promotions specific to time and date parameters,” says Penn. “APT Skidata’s system can provide a secondary voucher based on a number of various parameters such as 100th parker, repeat parkers, or in conjunction with retail promotions. ANPR may be required for certain promotions, such as repeat parkers.” The operators at Lewisham will also have a dedicated parking zone used by retail staff that will be accessed by APT Skidata’s new Lite.Gate barrier. Lite.Gate is a slimmed down version of Power.Gate with an option to add further modules as required, including a PIN pad or credit card reader. Similarly to its counterpart, Lite.Gate has sophisticated display modes supporting various applications. For additional parking column controls, the bright, high-resolution graphics display acts as a touch screen and it can also be used for commercials and videos. The third of the new systems, Barrier.Gate, offers a distinctive boundary gate with a barrier boom that can be up to 4.5m long. The barrier boom can be internally illuminated, either with a yellow contour strip or cycling through red, amber and green as the barrier moves from being closed to fully open. The Barrier.Gate’s has an optional magnetic lock to prevent any misuse and, adding to its aesthetics, features an integrated MARCH 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE

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dynamic track light which guides drivers using a moving green arrow and a flashing red cross indicating when the vehicle should move forward or stop. At Lewisham, a combination of Easy.Cash and Credit.Cash payment machines will be installed at strategic positions across the car park – offering cash or credit/debit card payments including contactless payments. At Gunwharf Quays ten automatic payment stations will be installed, including six Power.Cash machines that use the latest coin and banknote processing hardware. All payment stations will also be fitted with external optic scanners to support any promotional activity or loyalty programmes that may be introduced. Penn assures operators that the barriers are a good investment, and puts to bed and worries about the technology becoming outdated. “APT Skidata’s barriers are built to last and the modular design means that component parts can be upgraded as and when the customers may need to make changes. Gunwharf Quays is a very good example of this. The same barriers had been in place since 2001 and after being carefully maintained they looked as good as new and were operating well. The move to replace the barriers at this site is to take advantage of advances in new technology and to align the car park with the overall customer experience that people have when visiting this popular destination. “Along with the additional functionality offered by the new barriers, Gunwhaf Quays’ car park will have an improved look and feel with the use of the RGB LED barrier arms. It will be the first car park to have a barrier arm with internal illumination that cycles through red, amber and green as the barrier moves from SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

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being closed to fully open.” Pete Brown, managing director of APT Skidata, backs this sentiment: “These new barriers have been designed with high class material for longevity and in keeping with the modern car park environment. The new solutions offer something suitable for every budget with customisable solutions for different applications. “The barriers are built using components that are almost maintenance free and with a special focus on being energy saving,” he says. “They have been designed and built to last.” Nigel Young, APT Skidata’s strategic business development officer, says that APT Skidata’s relationship with Land Securities goes back almost 20 years, and the original equipment installed at Gunwharf Quays is still working today: “Gunwharf Quays is one of Land Securities featured centres,” he says, “so to support the overall visitor experience it has opted for a number of new features to improve the look and feel of the parking environment. The control columns are fitted with large full colour TFT display and the Skidata software will allow Land Securities to load both custom graphics or rolling advertising, including live video streaming.” Land Securities will also be using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) across all entry and exit lanes at both sites. This will also give each shopping centre options for future developments in the way the car park is operated. Potential enhancements include a possible membership scheme introduced, giving registered visitors access without requiring a ticket. Land Securities are also looking into visitors who have paid at a pay station being given a direct passage through the exit without the need to present their ticket.

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With operators increasingly incorporating app payment n a recent complaint letter published technology into their car parks, what are the advantages in the Guardian, one disgruntled citizen posted a complaint about having and pitfalls of a remote payment system? receiving a parking fine back in October,

in spite of having paid the ÂŁ4.10 charge via mobile app Parkmobile, which was advertised on signs around the car park. They received a ÂŁ100 fine with the service


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PARKING provider claiming no payment had been made. The issue, it turned out, was a typographical error – the result of the user inputting the registration plate number into the app with a space in the middle as it appears on their car. Although the result was one of genuine human error, when the user attempted to get in contact with the provider they claim to have been met with the blanket response that the need to pay and display was clearly signposted. Fortunately, in this case, the user’s fine was written off in what was named “a gesture of goodwill”, but this seemed to be only after intervention from the Guardian. “Using a mobile phone app to pay parking charges is becoming ubiquitous, but this letter also shows the perils involved, as if there is even the tiniest of mistakes the user can end up with a fine,” wrote Miles Brignall, the paper’s money expert. “It also shows up

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how useless the parking appeals service has become. Other users of these apps should take note and check that the car registration details are correct at each stage. Paying cash must be easier.” The premise of mobile payment for


parking is, when it works, a highly useful device as it allows shoppers to control their payment at the touch of a button, without having to go searching for payment machines and making sure they have the correct change. While it


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PARKING is unlikely to be used by everyone, parking providers should definitely consider implementing the technology for a variety of reasons. The service offered by Parkmobile is, theoretically, easy to use. Drivers can pre-register their details via phone, online or on the designated app. Once registered, users can then call, text, log into the app, or book their parking online. Upon arrival at the parking area, users must enter the number which should be signposted, followed by the length of time they intend to stay. This time limit can be controlled by the app and users, should they decide to stay longer, can top up their time limit as suits them. This information is made available to parking attendants who can check via mobile device if a car has paid for parking by typing in its number plate. When users return to their car they must then update the app or call the designated number to signify departure. The payment is then taken at a later date and a receipt is made available for the user online. The user benefits are simple yet effective: no need for change; remotely extendable parking times; text message updates when your paid time is due to run out; and the ability to manage your account online. Parkmobile’s provider benefits are also basic: offering tailormade time limiting options; individual site numbers to ensure payment goes to the correct party; promotional assistance; an easily integrated system; and, invaluably, the ability to monitor customer behaviour. It sounds useful, but for many parking feels more of a right than a privilege, and as phones become increasingly convoluted with apps edging consumers to the mindset of ‘what’s in it for me’, giving them an additional incentive might be the next step for parking providers.

A REWARDING EXPERIENCE Launching a trial in Sunderland is Newcastle based tech company, Proxismart, which has developed an app that aims to save shoppers money on their parking. The app was developed by head of ProxiSmart, Chris Reed, in just under a year, and has


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already claimed victory as a regional winner of KPMG’s Best British Mobile Startup awards, as well as being named as one of the Best 10 Tech Startups in the North at Tech North’s Northern Stars awards. The app, named ParkingPerx, works in co-operation with brands and allows users to earn rewards from retailers which can then be used to pay car parking charges. Reed claims that the technology will serve to coax shoppers into shopping areas. “City centres have seen a decline in trade in recent years and car parking is the biggest barrier to trade. ParkingPerx is great for consumers as you can earn free parking and retailers can incentivise spending. It is a simple model using new technology.” Sunderland’s Business Improvement District’s marketing and communications manager, Gemma Dishman, thinks the app could be a 'game changer' for city centre shopping and will help in the ongoing war against online retail. "ParkingPerx does what the best apps do – makes life easier and provides valuable incentives to shop local," she says. "Once the pilot is complete we hope that more and more retailers will get on board as it is a win/win for everyone. Shoppers can gather credits to use for their parking while merchants can use it as an opportunity to incentivise people to come in to the city centre." The system uses Smart Beacon technology, which sends smart messages to users when they park and shop. Its features include one-touch parking and the ability to extend a stay in a car park without having to return to the car. "Each retailer decides on what their offer or discount is going to be so the benefits will differ from shop to shop," says Reed. "And the shopper simply presents their phone at the till to claim their reward, just like existing contactless payments systems. The solution then awards the user their ParkingPerx which they can use as a credit to pay for their parking fees." ParkingPerx uses Smart Beacon technology, which transmit a unique bluetooth signal that can cover any distance from 50cm to 70m. Smart Beacons are set up in and around car parks and parking spaces and make what the company call

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PARKING ‘a wireless handshake' with a user’s Smartphone, letting ParkingPerx know when you have entered and exited a car park. Smart Beacons are also placed in and around participating stores to verify ParkingPerx claims – upon completing a qualifying purchase, shoppers present their claim to the retailer via their Smartphone. ParkingPerx then collects these consumer-earned rewards from shops and pays them directly to car park owners/operators. Verified claims are available for shoppers to use against their parking fees on their next visit. When they use the app to pay for their parking at the end of their stay, they will have a 'My Perx balance' that they can use to reduce or even eliminate their fee. At the end of the day, it’s about getting shoppers to spend money in-store, and giving them that feeling of satisfaction from attaining free parking it is likely to help leave them gratified after a day of

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shopping. There are of course pitfalls to mobilecontrolled payment methods – most distressing perhaps that a person’s phone might simply run out of battery. These, however are of the sort that


seems to plague any technology offer where sometimes a need for human intervention is needed – as the disgruntled letter writer discovered. But on the whole, app technology is moving parking payment in the right direction.


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Be informed. Be insp

Still time to book your place – but hurry! 22 - 23 March 2017 Hilton Metropole, Brighton A must attend for everyone involved in the management and operation of wider retail places. Whether a shopping centre, retail park, outlet centre, transport hub or leisure destination this one’s for you. View the full programme and book online today.


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Have a query or want to know more? Email us for some help. Sponsorship or exhibition

Graham Harvey: Delegate sales

Claire Jones: Supplier delegate sales

Trudy Whiston:

General enquiries:

spired. Be surprised. Hear from the likes of:

Emma Bier, Co-founder, Tiger UK · Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE · John Watts, Network Development Director, Doddle · Ashley Blake, CEO, Otium Real Estate and The Leisure Property Forum · Amelia Kallman, Head of Innovation, Engage Works · Zoe Young, Project Manager, Plan A Team, Marks & Spencer · Mark Robinson, Director, Ellandi · Ralph Fernando, Managing Director, Strategy &

Investor Services

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24/02/2017 16:28 01/03/2017 09:04:32



A YEAR OF REVOLUTION Giulia Bunting has taken over the helm at shopping centre industry body Revo as the organisation looks to bed in unprecedented changes. What does her year in office hold in store?


ntroducing a new name is probably the easiest of the reforms underway, but as new president Bunting seems to relish the challenge of remaking the old British Council of Shopping Centres into a body fit for the 21st century. “Now is the perfect time to be president,” Bunting asserts. “Having created the expectation now we have to deliver.” As a vice-president, Bunting was part of the team that put the Revo rebranding in place. “We had to rebrand to persuade people that we’ve changed,” she explains, “it was a tough thing to do because people held the old BCSC dearly.” And on balance she believes “there’s been an amazing response. We anticipated a lot more backlash.” One of her first tasks as president was to host a dinner for all the past presidents and some came with misgivings about the new identity. But Bunting believes that, by the end of the evening, they were persuaded that the change is for the better and that it allows the organisation to embrace a wider constituency. “It could be out-of-town, leisure or town centres, but retail is the glue that holds it all together,” she says. So, with the rebranding achieved, what’s next on the agenda? “We won’t SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

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change everything, although everything’s up for review,” she says. But already confirmed is a complete remodelling of the annual conference and exhibition, which this year goes to Liverpool. Architect Leslie Jones won a competition to redesign the exhibition. “We’ve asked them to masterplan the layout, almost like a shopping centre,” Bunting explains. One of the innovations will be a forum for talks on the exhibition floor rather than the old closed-room conference sessions, which should make it easier for people to dip in and out. Broadly, Bunting’s aim is to widen the appeal of the event to attract new groups of people such as smaller agents, out-of-town agents and developers, leisure operators, investors and perhaps even residential developers. “We’ve brought down the prices and people are responding,” she says. Although the flagship event is September is key for Revo both financially and in terms of profile, Bunting is keen that is does not dominate at the expense of all the other things the organisation does. “I’m very keen that all the other events we put on have more prominence,” she says. Reflecting this, Revo is launching a

dedicated event for local authorities in June 2015. Councils have been the most active players in the shopping centre investment market over the past 18 months, leveraging their low cost of borrowing to outbid private-sector investors. Now, they have to face the challenge of managing all the assets they’ve bought. Bunting is a planner by profession, and after qualification she started in the public sector before moving to Drivers Jonas, where she rose to head of planning, before joining GL Hearn in a similar role. She’s advised as planning consultant on some of the biggest retail-led regeneration schemes such as Liverpool One and Cabot Circus. So with a big full-time job, what motivated her to get involved with Revo? “From a personal point of view I got involved because I wanted to see more diversity,” she says. “I want it to get away from that old golf club mentality where it’s not what you know but it’s who you know that counts.” And that means not just more prominence for women – Bunting is only the second woman president – but also for younger people. “Let’s look at things differently,” she concludes.

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Shopping Centre / noun /

{Shop-ping Cen-ter}

1. a purpose-built complex of shops, restaurants, etc, for the use of pedestrians

a place to shop, eat, discover new experiences and be inspired

We’re looking forward to seeing you at The Shopping Centre Management Conference 2017. Visit us in Brighton on March 22nd & 23rd and talk to us about how to redefine what your retail destination means to shoppers.

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* To behold the possibilities

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CONFERENCE PREVIEW C This year’s Shopping Centre Management Conference is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever. So what’s to look out for in a busy programme?


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o-hosted by Shopping Centre and Revo, the annual Shopping Centre Management Conference has become the must-attend event for centre management teams. This year over 600 delegates are expected to gather at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton’s seafront on March 22 and 23 for a packed programme of events. In parallel with the conference a busy exhibition will showcase the best products and services in the shopping centre sector while the gala dinner will see the presentation of the ACE Awards for customer service. The conference will be hosted once again by broadcaster and journalist Adam Shaw and he will kick off the event with his now-traditional overview of the political and economic climate. In a turbulent year both at home and abroad retailers are facing headwinds from currency devaluations, rising business rates and increases in the minimum wage and Shaw will attempt to cut through the jargon and establish what it all means for retail property and placemaking. Local authorities have become the dominant players in the shopping

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centre investment market, taking advantage of low-cost government finance to secure long-term income streams. The second session, chaired by Ellandi director Mark Robinson, will highlight examples of successful new business relationships between the public and private sectors. Visionary and strategic local authority leadership is key to the delivery of regeneration projects and the most successful examples are those with clearly defined plans for physical and community development ensuring strong place-making and investment. After the mid-morning break the conference will examine the rise of leisure in shopping centres. A quality food & beverage offer is now an essential part of the shopping centre mix, but why is the sector growing at such pace? And what’s pushing that change? Chaired by Ashley Blake, CEO of Otium Real Estate and one of the founders of the Leisure Property Forum, the session will attempt to identify the new leisure experiences capturing the customer’s imagination right now. And looking ahead it will draw on examples from around the world to examine how retail and leisure can work hand-in-hand to enhance the customer experience, SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

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increase dwell time and capture a greater share of consumer spend. The morning session will finish with a presentation on one of the most inspiring high street success stories of recent years. Husband and wife team Emma and Philip Bier gave up successful careers to bring the Danish lifestyle brand Tiger to the UK. They started with fairly modest aspirations, opening the first UK Tiger store in Basingstoke in 2005. But over the ensuing 11 years they developed a 44-store group with 600 staff. So what’s the secret of Tiger’s success? The brand is aligned with structural changes in the way people shop and the product mix and store design have caught the consumer mood by offering fun but affordable experiences. Co-founder Emma Bier will give a candid account of the entrepreneurial leadership and vision behind the brand. After the lunch break the spotlight will move to consumer trends, with leading consumer researcher Helene Mills of Pragma UK looking at the way shoppers are reacting to the world of omnichannel retail. Supported by a panel of experts she will ask what do consumers want from each channel and how can retailers and retailers adapt their offer to meet

key demographics and purchase missions. This theme of how technology is affecting consumer behaviour continues into the next session fronted by creative technology agency Engage Works. A series of case studies will highlight the best examples of technologies that put people at the heart of every experience. And looking to the future the panel will examine what the growing fusion of physical, digital, and biological technologies means for experiencemaking, service expectations, and communications of the future. The afternoon tea break will be followed by a session looking at health and wellbeing. There is now a well-established connection between environmental and economic performance and Richard Francis, founder of the Monomoy Company and director of sustainability at Gardiner & Theobald, will explore the relationship between sustainable building and store design, the health and wellbeing of staff and customers, and footfall and sales. A panel including Zoe Young, project manager in Marks & Spencer’s Plan A Team, will identify the factors that centre managers and operators need to be aware of in creating vibrant, engaging and accessible places.

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The final speaker of the day will be Chris Holmes, the swimmer who won a total of nine gold, five silver, and one bronze medal at four Paralympic Games between 1988 and 2000. He acted as director of integration for the 2012 London Paralympic Games and is now a diversity adviser to the civil service as well as sitting on the House of Lords Select Committee on Social Mobility as Lord Holmes of Richmond. Engaging, informed and challenging, Lord Holmes will have some key messages to deliver on health, wellbeing and productivity.

EXHIBITION ZONE The Shopping Centre Management Conference is a key opportunity for management teams to see the latest products and services from the industry’s leading suppliers. The busy exhibition with more than 30 stands will host displays and events aiming to grab delegates’ attention. What can exhibitors do to stand out? Clare Andrew, managing director at Shoppertainment Management has been a long-term supporter of the event. She says: “On the stand, we always try to incorporate a competition with great prizes that tie in with current trends. Last year we launched a Twitter competition where attendees had to simply follow us on Twitter and tweet us saying hello. The winner won a Fitbit. Carrying on with the ‘health’ theme, we also gave out free smoothies on stand too that gave people a good morning energy boost. This in itself drums up excitement and conversation and gets the team approaching attendees.” Andrew says events play a key role on Shoppertainment Management’s marketing strategy. “Creativity is really showcased at conferences,” she says. “New ideas and techniques can be shared and give everyone that extra bit of SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

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motivation for their projects. New tools such as social media management software, apps that help our workload become more adaptable or give work a competitive edge, are also showcased. “Being around others who share the same passions and interests also helps fuel inspiration back in the office too. It’s also great to invest in your teams and allow them to break out of their comfort zone and speak to numerous potential new contacts." But for Andrew the event is not just about business development. She explains: “We find conferences are a great tool to revive and refresh ideas. The talks allow us to discover the new insights, trends and key topics that will be significant in our industry over the coming months. It is really important for us to come back from attending conferences like the Shopping Centre Management Conference with new discoveries that can be passed on to the wider commercialisation, marketing, PR and creative teams.”

ACE AWARDS After a hard day’s learning and networking, the shopping centre managers’ gala dinner is a chance for delegates to relax in convivial company. The evening will kick off with the presentation of the ACE Awards, recognising excellent customer service by shopping centre staff. The panel of judges, chaired by Andy Davy from The Mall Maidstone, have been out mystery shopping centres all across the UK. At the dinner they will be able to reward shopping centre employees who go above and beyond their job descriptions to welcome and assist visitors. This year will see a refreshed format for the ACE Awards with new categories and new judging criteria to reflect the way customer expectations are continuously changing.

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Secondary retail market seizes up A ‘chasm’ has opened up between the pricing expectations of buyers and sellers of non-core UK shopping centres, according new research from Colliers International. Colliers’ head of shopping centre investment, James Findlater, said: “The volume of capital waiting in the wings of the UK shopping centre sector remains vast, but incumbent owners and potential buyers currently have very different attitudes to appraising risk. “Buyers of non-core centres are unwilling to pay the sort of prices that were achieved through 2014 and 2015 while unforced owners are similarly reluctant to accept lower prices. There is a chasm between seller and buyer expectations which has resulted in a virtual halt to the trading of this type of asset.” As a result Colliers is forecasting a slump in investment turnover for shopping centres during 2017. Last year, saw £2.9bn of shopping centre assets sold – 35 per cent down on 2015. In contrast, the market for prime centres remains strong, according to Findlater: “Core shopping centre assets will remain

extremely liquid,” he said. “Convenience centres, anchored by a foodstore or a good quality footfall driver will also be robust. “For value-add and opportunistic comparison shopping centre assets, return prospects are far more negative. Hugely attractive income yields have lured private equity-backed investors on the back of compelling leveraged returns. The perceived income yields may seem attractive but income preservation has proven itself to be a great challenge. “In the most extreme instances we are seeing some shopping centres being partially demolished so as to mitigate vacant holding costs. The necessity for this extreme measure is the result of no-longer fit for purpose assets being crowded out by the general oversupply of retail space.” Findlater advocates the need for permitted development rights – under which office and industrial property can be redeveloped for residential use – to be extended to the retail sector. He believes a wave of “creative destruction” could be necessary to usher in a new fit-for-purpose UK shopping centre sector.

Independent trader profile - Temptashun Gifts In 2010, after 22 years in retail, distribution and logistics with high profile brands such as Game, M&S and The White Company, Cerys Lawrence decided to take advantage of her valuable experience and branch out on her own, selling silver and Tibetan jewellery at fairs and festivals. By 2015 she decided to expand her range to include Italian fashion wear, accessories and perfumes. At the time there was no other sole trader providing Italian fashion clothing in her local area and she found that there was a big market for this, especially popular during the summer months. She explains: “I started as a fayre sole trader and as my knowledge rapidly grew, I realised that I wanted to become SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2016 2017

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an established retailer in one place, rather than be known as a market trader. The two forms of retailing are very different.” She chose to rent mall space at Newlands shopping centre, working with Space to trade account manager Michelle Clark to grow her business. “In time I would like a shop unit, but at the moment I need to become established in one place and grow my customer base,” she explains. “With a shop you have to wait for the public to walk in, but with an RMU customers are walking by your and seeing products all the time. I can honestly say that I love my business and would recommend anyone wishing to take the leap into setting up their own retail business to start with mall space.”

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The Mall Luton donates £60,000 to charities Following a successful year of fundraising and thanks to generous shoppers, the Mall Luton will have handed over £60,000 to local charities during the last 12 months including nearly £17,000 for the Mall’s Charity of the Year, the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Not afraid to get their hands dirty, as part of the initiative, staff from The Mall took on the Only The Brave Mud Run in March where a team of 12 battled the elements and 20 obstacles across five muddy miles to raise £3,700. Fundraising was open to youngsters too and in June over 150 young people learned

lifesaving skills when they spent the night at The Mall’s Giant Sleepover event, raising £2,000, while general manager Roy Greening pedalled 240 miles for a three day charity bike ride to the Somme, raising £2,600. On top of this, The Mall also raised nearly £18,500 for the Royal British Legion, plus other funds for local charities, organisations and schools. Marketing manager Lavinia Douglass said: “Supporting local charities and the community through our Mall Cares programme is very important to us and we’ve got plenty of fundraising fun in store for 2017.”

This month’s moves . . . CAPITAL & REGIONAL has appointed LAWRENCE HUTCHINGS as chief executive, replacing HUGH SCOTT-BARRETT, who will become non-executive chairman, following the retirement of JOHN CLARE. Hutchings joins following four years at Blackstone in Australia, two as managing director. Prior to Blackstone, he was at Hammerson for four years, the last three as managing director – UK retail, before which he spent almost seven years at Henderson Global Investors, latterly as director (property) European retail. VPS Group has appointed IAN NISBET as managing director of VPS UK. After a decade of military service as a major in the army, he was managing director for G4S International Logistics and before that, Securicor Aviation. SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

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Ellandi picks partner of the year

Community shopping centre investor, Ellandi, has chosen Richard Mills as its partner of the year for 2016. His firm, Jamieson Mills, is retained agent on six of Ellandi’s shopping centres and works closely with the asset management team to deliver best-inclass service. Alex Brooker, director of asset management at Ellandi, said: “Over the course of 2016, Richard has negotiated a number of hugely successful lettings. In particular, his relationship with H&M resulted in the completion of two major lettings comprising over 35,000 sq ft of new retail space in Eastleigh and Kettering, transforming both schemes.” Ellandi’s Partner of the Year award was launched in 2014. The first winner, Matthew Williams, has recently left Savills to establish planning consultants Williams Gallagher and Sasha Armstrong of Workman took the crown in 2015.

LUNSON MITCHENALL has welcomed two new recruits to its investment team. ARCHIE STEAD joins from the JLL capital markets team in London where clients included Aviva, Schroders, CBRE Global Investors, Threadneedle and Legal & General. And CHRIS WATT will be joining from WSB in Leeds, where he has been for just over three years. HARPER DENNIS HOBBS has hired BHAVINI DHUTIA as head of marketing and branding. Before joining HDH, she worked in PR and marketing positions as well as a research analyst. SPACE TO TRADE has appointed MICHELLE CLARK as its latest on onsite manager covering the Chelmsley Wood, Newlands, Vancouver Quarter and Westgate shopping centres.

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Find out more about these suppliers Visit: Tel: 01293 416090 Email:



Fizzco Projects 01427 666029 Gala Lights 01622 882424 JB Display 01274 563506 BUILDING REFURBISHMENT

Millennium Quest 01622 675422

Car Park Structural Repair & Protection Specialists • • • • • • Concrete Condition Testing & Investigation Lifecare Plans & Budget Costings Concrete Repair & Protection Anti-Carbonation Coatings Deck Waterproofing Movement Joints

MK Illumination 01254 778 670 RED i Design & Display 01821 670544

T: 0208 654 3149 W: E: CLEANING & MAINTENANCE

BlueFrog Cleaning Services 01903 262 555

PARKING Seasonal Transformations 01483 799 944 Vileda 0845 769 7356 COMMERCIALISATION

Destination Space 0161 743 4644 ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN

Portland Design

Forum CentreSpace

0207 017 8780

0191 226 8844



0174 882 4624

0161 477 3652


Shoppertainment Management Ltd

01773 835552

0161 817 5221



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01/03/2017 09:04:54

Find out more about these suppliers Visit: Tel: 01293 416090 Email:




Space & People


0845 051 8645

0870 0427215

Space to Trade

Parkeon Lmited

028 406 60138

01202 339494

Intelligent Counting

Scheidt & Bachmann UK Ltd

0118 932 4660

01372 230 400

Fran Raybould


01743 242485

0333 220 1030


Vehicle Control Services

0161 633 2298

0114 261 7111





Corpor@te Facilities Services Ltd

Photo-Me International

02380 465 625





01959 571 788

0800 043 2688 – LEISURE VENDING



Latimer Appleby

02840 622028

01273 648 335

Shopping Centre Mangement

Spring-Board Research

01372 386983

0845 359 2835



Shoppertainment Management Ltd


0161 817 5221


JFR Promotions

Inkspot Wifi

0161 440 7035

0131 556 4034 SIGNAGE

ANPR International

Sign Options

0114 261 7111

01254 695550 TENANT LIAISON


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Excel Parking

Toolbox Group

0114 261 7111

01359 250 208

01/03/2017 09:04:57

Find out more about these suppliers Visit: Tel: 01293 416090 Email:



Compact & Bale

Orwak Environmental Services

01732 852 244

0800 169 3534

Find out more about these suppliers... visit To advertise in Products & Services or in the Shopping Centre online directory please contact:

Trudy Whiston at

or call 01293 416 090

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Shopping Centre Magazine March 2017  
Shopping Centre Magazine March 2017