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SHOPPINGCENTRE The business of retail destinations

November 2017 • £8.00

Opening day Westgate Oxford development complete

16 Tech Emerging technology to transform mall

20 Marketing Experiential strategy builds loyalty

26 Leisure F&B grows dwell time out of town

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Editor’s letter

Editorial Assistant Iain Hoey 07757 946 414 Sales Manager Trudy Whiston 01293 416 090 Events Sales Manager Graham Harvey 01474 247 032 Database Manager Dywayne Ramsundar 01737 852 342 Design & Production Stuart West 01737 852 343 Publishing Director Helen Richmond 01737 852 344 Editorial Board Carl Foreman, Moorgarth; Byron Lewis, Mall Solutions Europe; Andrew McCall, The ROI Team; Howard Morgan, RealService; John Prestwich, Montagu Evans; James Taylor, Workman; David Tudor-Morgan, British Land No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publishers. 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.

Landsec and the Crown Estate have pulled off a remarkable feat in breaking the planning logjam that had thwarted the redevelopment of the Westgate centre in Oxford for decades. Building a new retail destination in a crowded his-

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pleased with the result, but from an industry perspective Westgate Oxford has moved the goalposts in terms of design, sustainability and transport planning while still respecting the scale of buildings and the palette of materials that makes Oxford so attractive. We’ve had a flurry of completions with Rushden Lakes, the Lexicon in Bracknell and Westgate Oxford opening this autumn, but looking forward the development pipeline’s looking distinctly dry. Graham Parker Editor


Hermes sells Bluewater stake Green light for C&R in Hemel Debenhams opens at the Mander Centre Westgate Oxford opens Inflation shock for ratepayers Page 16


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toric city centre is never easy, but Oxford is a particularly tough case with a serious traffic problem and a host of heritage issues that restrict development options. The catchment is crammed with educated and articulate locals who aren’t afraid to share their views on what should happen in their city. For instance focus groups found that people didn’t want a new shopping centre in Oxford – so nobody on the development team is allowed to call Westgate Oxford a shopping centre, even though that’s what it is. Inevitably the lobbyists aren’t all


Technology – Emerging technologies are poised to transform the operation of shopping centres Marketing – Experiential marketing builds customer loyalty, and it need not break the bank Leisure – Food & beverage is adding diversity and increasing dwell time at out-of-town destinations

REGULARS 30 34 35 35

Data – Retail facts & figures Soapbox – Parking can be more than a revenue stream People – Liver bird takes wing Moves – All the latest job moves

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Hermes sells Bluewater stake In the largest shopping centre transaction of 2017, Royal London has bought Hermes’ 7.5 per cent stake in Bluewater shopping centre in Kent for around £155m. Hermes began the sale process in January with an original asking price of £167m. Opened in 1999, Bluewater is home to over 330 retailers, cafes, bars and restaurants, including John Lewis, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret, Tommy Hilfiger, Jack Wills, H&M and Zara. It attracts 27m visitors a year and has a catchment of 6.6m people, one of the most affluent in the country. Landsec holds a 30 per cent-plus stake

and the management rights. The deal comes as Lendlease and GIC are preparing to relaunch the sale of their combined 42.5 per cent stakes in the 1.8m sq ft mall with a price tag in excess of £900m, currently the largest stake being marketed in the UK. By joining forces the two are able to offer a single large slice of a major shopping centre which they believe is likely to be viewed as more attractive to investors, particularly international wealth funds seeking to allocate larger amounts of cash. Coady Supple advised Royal London Asset Management while HP Four acted for Hermes.

Cambridge BHS store relet LGIM Real Assets has secured new occupiers for the former BHS store at the Grafton, Cambridge. Value fashion retailer H&M is to expand its store and introduce the H&M Home concept to Cambridge by taking the ground floor of the former BHS unit, increasing its footprint by 60 per cent to 28,570 sq ft. PureGym will open a 17,500-sq ft


fitness club on the second floor and the conversion of the former BHS unit will be completed with a new F&B quarter on the first floor, to be branded Food Social. The space will complement the existing F&B tenants and the adjacent eight-screen Vue cinema. Senior asset manager Tom Williams said: “We’ve increased our investment into the refurbishment to help deliver

a new and unique leisure offering for Cambridge to be delivered through the reconfiguration of the former BHS. This is a key aspect of the refurbishment programme and the new announcements demonstrate both existing retailer and new operator confidence in the scheme.” The refurbishment of the Grafton is being project managed by Wrenbridge and agents are BNP Paribas and Bidwells.

LSH wins 1.7msq ft NewRiver mandate NewRiver has appointed Lambert Smith Hampton as managing agent on a UK and Ireland shopping centre and leisure portfolio extending to more than 1.7m sq ft. The instruction comprises seven shopping centres and two retail parks amongst other retail and leisure assets including Abbey Centre in Belfast, Priory Meadows in Hastings and The Avenue in Newtown Mearns, Glasgow. NewRiver’s £1.3 bn portfolio of convenience-led retail and leisure assets includes 33 shopping centres, 20 retail warehouses, 15 high street assets and a portfolio of 340 pubs. Director Emma Mackenzie, said: “LSH has a specialist and highly experienced property management team with considerable expertise across the UK and Ireland. Their innovative approach and enthusiasm will add value to our assets and we very much look forward to a positive and productive long-term relationship.”


Green light for C&R in Hemel Dacorum Borough Council has approved Capital & Regional’s plans for a £13m reconfiguration of the Marlowes shopping centre in Hemel Hempstead. The proposals, designed by tp bennett, include a new ninescreen cinema and the refurbishment of part of the centre to create a new six-unit dining cluster. C&R bought the Marlowes shopping centre, which comprises 340,000 sq ft of retail space in Hemel Hempstead’s prime retail destination, for £35.5m in 2016. Since then the company has invested an additional £18.3m to consolidate its ownership in the town centre to enable the delivery of its long-term plans for the town centre. The Marlowes shopping quarter

comprises over 100 retail units across the Marlowes shopping centre and adjacent buildings on the Marlowes Street. Stores include Marks & Spencer, Argos, Wilko, River Island, Poundworld, New Look, JD, the Perfume Shop, Ernest Jones and the Entertainer. Retail asset manager Gareth Holland, said: “These plans underline our strong vote of confidence in Hemel and we are very excited to get started on our programme of investment and improvement here. We want the Marlowes to support the renewal of Hemel and this decision brings that vision another step closer.”

British Land signs Realm continues 13 at Fort Kinnaird lettings at new The Gibraltar Limited Partnership, advised by British Land, has agreed 13 new lettings and an additional four re-gears totalling more than 135,000 sq ft including mezzanine space at Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh. Currys PC World has upsized to a new regional flagship store of 39,500 sq ft, JD Sports has doubled in size to a new 10,000-sq ft store, Oak Furniture Land has opened its second Edinburgh store with 18,000 sq ft, Pure Gym is to open a new 20,000 sq ft gym and Wilko has continued its UK expansion with a new 10,700-sq ft store. All are on new 10-year leases.

In other deals Tapi Carpets has taken 5,300 sq ft, Schuh 5,000 sq ft, Waterstones 3,800 sq ft, Office and Starbucks 2,500 sq ft each, Card Factory 2,300 sq ft, O2 2,000 sq ft, and Tui 1,700 sq ft. And a number of retailers have demonstrated their commitment to Fort Kinnaird by extending their leases, including Perfume Shop (10 years), Vision Express (10 years), Clarks (five years), and Carphone Warehouse (three years). The Gibraltar Limited Partnership was advised by Eric Young & Co and Paradigm Property Consultants.

Princes Quay outlet deck in Hull Hamleys and Gift Company have both signed for space in the new Outlet Deck at the 300,000-sq ft Princes Quay in Hull city centre, where fund manager Seven Dials and outlet specialist Realm have created the UK’s first in-town outlet mall in a traditional shopping centre. Hamleys has signed for a 1,477-sq ft unit on a five-year lease and Gift Company is taking a 1,418-sq ft unit on a five-year lease. Spanning 51,000 sq ft and comprising 24 new retail units, the recently re-launched Outlet Deck is anchored by a 12,000-sq ft Next Outlet store. Currently 78 per cent let, it has already welcomed brands including Ben Sherman, Sole Trader and Bench. Realm leasing director Christine Grace said: “Since the launch of the Outlet Deck in June this year, we have seen a footfall increase in excess of 30 per cent and experienced a positive response from local and visiting shoppers alike. Positioning outlet alongside full price retail, with an added a food & beverage component, has allowed us to future-proof our offer at Princes Quay by responding to the increasing leisure-centric trends the industry has been experiencing.”



RESERVED HIRES HDH FOR UK EXPANSION Polish fashion brand Reserved, which made its UK debut in the former BHS store on Oxford Street this Autumn, has appointed Harper Dennis Hobbs to advise on its UK expansion plans. Reserved already has 450 stores across 18 countries and following the launch of its 32,000-sq ft UK flagship store the brand, owned by LPP, is on the lookout for large format stores in key UK retail locations. LPP’s other brands, Mohito, Sinsay, Cropp and House, are likely to follow the expansion of Reserved.

INGLOT HEADS NORTH International cosmetics retailer Inglot, represented by Savills, has secured its first UK store outside of London at intu Eldon Square in Newcastle, agreeing a 10-year lease for a 1,000sq store. The deal forms part of the brand’s UK-wide expansion drive, beginning with a focus on prime cities in the North of England. Inglot currently has three stores in London plus 16 in Northern Ireland and Ireland and is now seeking prime units of around 600 sq ft in major cities and shopping centres across the UK.

OSIM BUYS IN ALTRINCHAM Orchard Street Investment Management has bought Altrincham retail park in Greater Manchester from the Crown Estate for £63.05m. The acquisition represents a net initial yield of 6.96 per cent. The retail park comprises 218,764 sq ft across 13 retail warehouse units and two standalone restaurants, in addition to 927 on-site car parking spaces. Tenants include TK Maxx, Homebase and McDonald’s with a WAULT of 5.2 years and the total rental income is £4,683,535 pa year, reflecting an average rent of £21.40 per sq ft. Savills advised the purchaser and Wilkinson Williams the vendor.


Debenhams opens at the Mander Centre The Mander centre in Wolverhampton has a new anchor after Debenhams opened a new 93,000-sq ft department store at the 600,000sq ft shopping centre. The store has been created as part of landlord Benson Elliot’s £35m redevelopment of the centre. The Mander centre attracts up to 17 million visitors annually and the current reconfiguration has created 10 new units in the best fashion and leisure pitch. Recent additions to the centre include Footasylum, The Entertainer, JD Sports and a 30,000sq ft H&M which includes the first homeware section in the Midlands. Cushman & Wakefield manages the centre, and is joint letting agent with Jackson Criss. Adam Lazenbury, partner in Cushman & Wakefield’s national retail team, said: “This is an exciting stage in the redevelopment of the Mander

centre. As we reach the final stages of the redevelopment programme, shop-

pers will start to see a transformation in their shopping environment.”

Angel Central plans unveiled CBRE Global Investors has confirmed an investment of nearly £8m in the comprehensive refurbishment and redevelopment of Angel Central, Islington. A planning application has been submitted for phase one of the improvements, including a new bridge to improve circulation on the centre’s upper level as well as a new lighting scheme, cladding and upgraded flooring throughout the scheme. Works are set to commence in January 2018 and complete in early 2019. As part of the refurb three new restaurants with alfresco dining space are being introduced to complement the existing leisure offer, anchored by Vue and the O2 Academy. And to create a new gateway into the Angel Central scheme, CBREGI has bought an adjoining property at 19 Upper Street for £4.5m. Queensberry Real Estate is development manager for the project and commercial director and co-founder Stuart Harris said: “The investment planned is

part of a wider re-positioning to revitalise Angel Central as one of the most exciting retail and leisure destinations in

North London.” CBRE, CWM and BNP Paribas Real Estate are joint agents.

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In the biggest shopping centre launch of the year, the 800,000sq ft Westgate Oxford has opened its doors after a development process spanning two decades.


he £440m development, which is 93 per cent pre-let or in solicitors’ hands, is anchored by a 140,000-sq ft John Lewis and includes stores from Next, H&M and Superdry alongside Uniqlo, Primark, Ted Baker, Victoria’s Secret Pink, MAC and Tommy Hilfiger. It has been delivered by the Westgate Oxford Alliance, a joint venture between Landsec and The Crown Estate. Inevitably, finishing touches were still being put in place as the first shoppers rushed in, but centre manager Brendan Hattam says: “Welcoming the public for the first time has been a momentous occasion and we’re extremely proud to have officially opened the doors of the centre. “With a first-class line-up of retail, food and leisure brands, Westgate Oxford cements the city’s reputation as one the most attractive destinations in the country. We’ve worked hard to bring Oxford something that’s truly unique, blending the character and charm of this historic city with all the ingredients of a perfect day out.” Previous attempts to redevelop the Westgate site had been rejected on both design and transport grounds, but according to Landsec’s senior portfolio manager Emma Mees these objections were overcome by working closely with the local authorities. “We really worked with the city and county councils to ensure it was part of Oxford,” she says. For instance the scheme is permeable, with a network of lanes reflecting Oxford’s medieval streetscape. “People will be able to walk through on their way to work,” says Mees. But that same medieval streetscape struggles to cope with 21st century traffic, so plans have been devised to mitigate the scheme’s impact. The centre’s shops will not open until 10am on weekdays to avoid clashing with the rush hour, and they will extend Oxford’s evening trade until 8pm. Westgate is the first scheme to give equal billing to cyclists with 1,000 cycle spaces alongside 1,000 car spaces, and the developers have backed upgrades to the city’s park & ride system, with buses from five car parks on the Oxford Ring Road delivering shoppers straight to the centre. There are 50 EV charging bays in the centre’s car parks.

In terms of tenant mix, leasing manager Dominic Chambers says the aim has to been to give the ground floor a ‘high street’ feel with the first floor housing more aspirational brands. And the roof terrace is the focus for F&B. There has been some cannibalisation with brands closing city centre stores to move into the new scheme, but Chambers points out that many of the tenants are new to the city, often taking their first steps outside London. “Just providing more of the same wouldn’t do justice to Oxford,” he says. Westgate Oxford also features the city’s first public roof terrace, offering visitors never-before-seen views of the dreaming spires of Oxford and its surrounding countryside. The terrace houses range of restaurants including de the first venture outside London for Pizza Pilgrims, Dirty Bones and Cinnamon Kitchen as well as Nando’s, Sticks n Sushi, The Breakfast Club, and The Alchemist. Alongside the F&B offering will sit a five-screen boutique Curzon cinema showcasing the latest blockbusters and independent film releases. There is more F&B at ground level in Westgate Social, which Landsec’s Emma Mees describes as “the next evolution of Trinity Kitchen.” Multiple street food vendors including Benito’s Hat, Shawa Lebanese Grill, Tommy’s Burger Joint and Ned’s Noodles are clustered around a vibrant communal space, while before Christmas Junkyard Golf will open with five bars around a 27-hole adventure golf course. Hannah Milne, director of regional retail at The Crown Estate, sums up the scheme: “We knew that we had to deliver something special for one of the world’s most famous and vibrant cities,” she says. “We have worked hard with our partners at Landsec to design Westgate with the whole of Oxford in mind and created the largest retail development to launch in the UK this year, filling a much-needed retail need in the heart of the city. “By combining fashion, food and film with inspiring rooftop views and bold architecture, all set within the sights and sounds of an historical British city, we believe we have created a truly game-changing shopping and leisure experience for everyone. NOVEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 9


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SUSTAINABLE DESIGN The development takes the form of a redevelopment and extension of the existing Westgate centre, which dated from 1972. The original mall leading off Bonn Square has been totally reconfigured to create an arcade of double-height stores and some underground parking at the rear of the site has been retained, but the majority of the structure is new, and reflects the latest in shopping centre design thinking. The reuse of the existing fabric is part of the sustainable approach that runs all the way through the masterplan by architects BDP and which has been rewarded with a BREEAM Excellent rating. An innovative energy loop delivers heating and cooling to shops and restaurants, using air source heat pumps in place of conventional boilers. This system avoids the use of natural gas, keeping costs down for retailers and reducing reliance on fossil fuels. And all of the mall spaces are naturally ventilated, with glass roofs providing shelter from the elements. BDP’s director of architecture Peter Coleman says that four different architects were brought on board to implement the masterplan, to create distinct blocks that add variety and reflect the scale and materials of the surrounding areas. “Our masterplan ties together a retail led mixed use development consisting of individually designed buildings, connected by a crossweave of covered and naturally ventilated public spaces, arcades and lanes,” he explains. Glenn Howells Architects’ design for the John Lewis anchor store was influenced by the Bodleian Library, while Panter Hudspith Architects’ building at the south of the site fronting Thames Street took its inspiration from typical Oxfordian architectural features such as the impressive colonnades. Allies and Morrison’s two-level mall at the heart of the scheme drew on the evocative oak panelling in several college dining rooms while Dixon Jones looked to Campion Hall on nearby Brewer Street when creating the new Bonn Square façade. The sustainable approach was extended through the build process, according to development director Bert Martin. “To improve quality, shorten the programme, and make the development less of a hostage to the weather, we used off-site techniques that are helping to change our industry for the better,” he explains. ”Many of the brick walls were built in factory conditions – something that’s never happened on this scale before. This meant we didn’t have to use any scaffolding, which reduced labour costs and made site progress easy to see.” But it’s not just external walls that were constructed off-site. The 140,000-sq ft flagship John Lewis store fit-out, with its sustainable wall and floor panels, was manufactured almost entirely at a separate location, another first for a major retail build. “Given the positive feedback we’ve received from the John Lewis team, we fully expect other developers to follow in our footsteps,” concludes Martin.


Shopping Centre, in partnership with Revo, are pleased to announce that the next annual national meeting of retail destination managers will take place in Brighton.



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SHOPPINGCENTRE Features Schedule 2018 January



Christmas Planning ahead for a successful festive season Commercialisation Maximising non–rental income Click & collect Serving the online shopper

Marketing Powerful tools to extend reach F&B/Leisure Adding diversity to the tenant mix Insurance Risk mitigation to avoids claims

Parking Quarterly review Customer Analysis Tracking shopper behaviour

October June

February Sustainability Efficient energy and waste management F&B/Leisure Adding diversity to the tenant mix Markets Traditional format still draws the crowds

March Parking Parkex preview Security Securing the shopper experience

April Commercialisation Maximising non–rental income Customer Service Putting the shopper first Ireland All Ireland retail property survey

GRAHAM PARKER Editor 07956 231078

Parking Quarterly review Sustainability Responsible shopping centre Investment

Commercialisation Maximising non–rental income Sustainability Efficient energy and waste management Ireland All Ireland retail property survey



Commercialisation Maximising non–rental income Cleaning Minimising hazards and improving appearance Events Planning and executing a major draw

Marketing Powerful tools to extend reach F&B/Leisure Adding diversity to the tenant mix Technology New applications change the face of property management



F&B/Leisure Adding diversity to the tenant mix Security Securing the shopper experience Digital Social media drive loyalty

Parking Quarterly review 2018 Preview Looking ahead

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TRUDY WHISTON Sales Manager 01293 416090


INFLATION BLOW FOR RATEPAYERS September inflation rate to force up next year’s business rates bills


he Office for National Statistics has announced that the inflation rate – using the Retail Price Index measure – for the 12 months to September 2017 was 3.9 per cent. This seemingly dull statistic has a big impact on retailers and property investors because the September inflation figure is used to set the new business rates values for the following year, so retailers in every centre in the UK can look forward to a further rates hike in April 2018. The RPI measure has been discredited by economists and is increasingly being replaced by the Consumer Price Index – and the government has committed to moving business rates to CPI indexation from 2020. Revo, the retail property trade body, pointed out that the UK is already suffering under the weight of the highest property taxes in the OECD, putting British business at a distinct disadvantage, and businesses are still recalibrating following the impact of the latest delayed revaluation. The organisation has called on the government to implement a 2 per cent cap on the rise in business rates, in line with the Bank of England’s target rate for inflation. Revo chief executive Ed Cooke said: “This rise in inflation utilising an obsolete index, which still determines business rates increases, comes at a time when many businesses are already struggling with the fixed costs of operating in the built environment. To make sure that Britain really is open for business, we need to be taking decisions that will protect and support our town centres, high streets and other urban areas, not penalise them. “His predecessor responded to calls for a cap when inflation was around the same level in 2013, so there is a clear precedent for this.” Simon Berkley, rating expert at Montagu Evans, pointed out: “Rates are generally the third largest outgoing for bricks and mortar retailers, so this level of increase will undoubtedly have an impact on their bottom lines. Margins are already tight and this rise is significant enough to make

a profitable store no longer viable. “The expansion plans of some retailers will also be affected. Even before these rises, higher rates were becoming a barrier to new openings in some places, with attractive locations such as Bond Street, Regent Street and Long Acre among those seeing the depth of demand diminishing. From April these numbers will be even harder to balance. “The planned move to the lower CPI measure of inflation due in 2020 will help, when it comes in, but unless the Chancellor brings this change forward in his next budget the only opportunity for rate reductions before then will be through the appeals process.” JLL’s head of rating, Tim Beattie, called on the Chancellor to bring forward the proposed switch to the business rate calculation from RPI to CPI to 2018 instead of 2020. He said: “The Treasury has said that the switch could save companies £1bn in the first three years, so bringing it forward will help to ensure that ratepayers are not dealt with another swinging increase in their rates when they can least afford it.” He added: “Continued failure by the government to address the concerns of businesses cannot go on. The recent business rates revaluation has already had costly effects, particularly on high street retailers, and the ONS announcement will surely be viewed as just another kick in the teeth for those businesses that are already suffering.” And Tim Attridge, head of London rating at CBRE agreed, saying: “While ratepayers will be comforted that business rates indexation will move to CPI from 2020, today’s announcement piles further pressure on an embattled Philip Hammond to provide some relief to businesses already facing higher inflation. His leading option will be cap the increase at 2 per cent, as his predecessor did for two years running. “Greg Clark has suggested that a business rates review is at an advanced stage but we would encourage the Chancellor to go further; a commitment to more frequent revaluations and reform of the new appeals system are also required.” NOVEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 15





Hammerson research reveals the impact of technology and innovation on the retail experience


s part of its 75th anniversary Hammerson commissioned new research from Global Data, uncovering the ways in which technology and innovation have been shaping the retail industry through the decades. From the opening of the first self-service supermarket in Britain in 1947 to the debut of the barcode in 1979, and most recently the announcement of a successful drone delivery service last year, the retail sector is no stranger to innovation. While the impact of technology on consumer behaviour has been well documented in recent years, in the 20th century it was advances in the automotive industry which played a major role in changing habits. In the 1950s, when only one family in six owned a car, there were 12 stores per 1,000 people in the UK. Indicating the impact of improved transport links and car ownership on the local retail scene, this figure has since dropped by two thirds, to four stores per 1,000 people in 2017, and the overall number of retail outlets has halved in that time. But technology now poses some cause for concern: half of those aged 16-24 say they are unable to switch off from work and relax in their free time due to their smartphones and tablets. It is perhaps unsurprising therefore that an overwhelming majority of people (84 per cent) believe that we spend too much time looking at these devices in public. And over half (52 per cent) of 16-24 year olds admit that technology, such as smartphones and tablets, has made them more reluctant to talk to people face to face. Despite the growth of technology, it’s evident that customers overall still value a ‘human experience’ when shopping. Three fifths of shoppers (59 per cent) say they always prefer to use a till staffed by an actual person and almost two thirds (65 per cent) worry about the security of mobile payments. Yet tech innovation also presents an immense opportunity for retail. As part of the research, Hammerson spoke to two of its largest retail occupiers, John Lewis and Debenhams. John Lewis said: “There is no doubt that tech-

nology has enhanced and improved our business efficiency, whether it is accurate records of stock or the insight it gives us into how our customers want to shop.” Greater customer data has enabled retailers to better target investment across all channels, matching how consumers approach the shopping mission. Customers may be increasingly channel ambivalent, but they expect a consistent brand experience throughout the shopping journey. According to Debenhams: “What the customer wants is control over what they are getting when. If they are busy, they want control over when they try products on, when they pick purchases up. It is about control.” Smartphones have become the latest device to empower the consumer. According to the research, there has been a 30 per cent increase in smartphone ownership in just two years, from 61 per cent of people in 2015 to 80 per cent of people in 2017. Comparing habits with two years ago, while 25 per cent of shoppers purchased products on their mobiles at least once a week in 2015, that figure has now risen to 34 per cent. Additionally, 31 per cent of consumers say that options for delivery, collection and returns have a higher influence on where they shop than five years ago. Knowledge of such shifts is invaluable in ensuring retailers and shopping destinations continue to meet the evolving needs of customers today and into the future. Summing up the research, Hammerson CEO David Atkins says: “While the rise of technology is often characterised as a relatively recent phenomenon, our research demonstrates that innovation has been disrupting and shaping the retail industry for decades – and that this has benefitted both consumers and retailers. “Encouragingly, both brands and customers continue to see the physical store as central to the retail experience, and our retailers emphatically agree that the store portfolio will remain a fundamental part of their strategy in the future. Overall it seems evident that technology is not the enemy at the gate, but rather an opportunity for landlords and retailers to embrace.” NOVEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 17


INTU STEPS UP THE PACE OF CHANGE INTU STEPS UP THE PACE OF CHANGE Intu has opened up its centres to a ten-week start-up incubator to test shoppers’ and retailers’ reactions to new technologies.



Intu has opened up its centres to a ten-week start-up incubator to test shoppers' and retailers' reactions to new technologies


obotic retail assistants and queue-jumping technology have been unveiled at intu shopping centres. The innovations are being trialled as part of intu Accelerate, a programme that aims to develop products and services that will nurture the shopping experience of the future. Over the ten-week programme seven startups have been given office space and mentoring by senior members of the intu team before trialling their concepts in real time on the malls. The programme is being run in partnership with innovation specialist L Marks. Bo, Europe’s first ever shopping centre robot, has been interacting with shoppers at intu Milton Keynes, directing them to different parts of the centre and collecting feedback about their shopping experience. It can also tell them about special offers they can take up at Starbucks and Pret A Manger to test the potential of the technology to drive shoppers to stores and other locations. Robot specialist BotsAndUs, the brains behind the onemetre-high ‘shop-bot’, has trialled robots in the hospitality sector before but this is the first time the company has run a shopping centre trial. BotsAndUs CEO Andrei Danescu explains: “Robots in retail are still very much a novelty, especially when supporting shoppers with practical tasks such as helping them to find what they are looking for or to take advantage of the latest promotions. We are extremely excited to work with intu and bring Bo to a British shopping centre in a European premiere.” intu is also working with WoraPay to trial queue-jumping technology at intu Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester in partnership with several of the shopping centre’s cafés and coffee shops including Leon and Shake Lab. It allows

customers to order and pay for food and drink on their phone as they shop and then collect them when they are ready, bypassing any queues. Richard Jackson, the UK founder of WoraPay, says: “Technology is changing the way people shop. There is no longer a need to wait in a queue to order, pay for or collect items like drinks and takeaway food. We expect to see some great results for our service within intu Trafford Centre over the coming months for both the retailers and intu.” Technology provider Infraspeak, which uses reactive sensors, user-friendly apps and powerful software to make building management easier, is also running a live trial at intu Trafford Centre as part of intu Accelerate. The other companies taking part are: GoInStore which uses physical retail spaces to drive up web traffic and orders by creating live in-store video experiences for online customers; Percent, an app that helps shoppers raise money for charity as a small portion of their debit or credit card spend is automatically donated by retailers to their chosen charity; Soza Health, which offers customers health assessments and tailored recommendations to optimise their health and Toky Woky, a community live-chat facility where customers browsing an online shop can receive real time advice from fellow shoppers. Intu chief executive David Fischel says: “Retail has always been an inventive industry and the UK has remained at the forefront of this. We’ve launched intu Accelerate to drive forward innovative technology that will entertain and engage shoppers and help businesses to flourish. It’s giving talented new businesses like BotsandUs and WoraPay the opportunity to trial their ideas within live environments and test their potential to shape the future of retail.” NOVEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 19




head of the trend when it comes to data, outlets and off-price retail locations have long relied on retail intelligence to work closely with their tenants and make decisive improvements based on genuine insights. Early to adopt strategic analytics, outlets gained from a comprehensive view of their data. This has enabled a detailed understanding of their customer movements, intrinsic links between tenants, spending patterns, property revenue and marketing performance. Gareth Jordan, commercial director at ART Software Group explains: “We have reached a point where the key differentiator between retail locations is data, how it is managed and what you do with it; a point where the productivity and performance of any retail site is improved or impaired through its access to data and how efficient those processes are.” In general, organisations have access to more data than ever before, and almost no place more than in retail environments. In theory, this should be fuelling insights and informing decisions. In many cases, however, it is becoming harder to identify up-to-date, relevant information and make use of it quickly and efficiently. A wealth of data can yield actionable discoveries, win tenants and shape leasing strategy, but not all data is equally useful. Shopping centres that are using the limited data they can get hold of in the best possible way will see far greater benefits than those with a huge amount of data that is not being used effectively. It has become fairly standard practice to invest in gathering data relating to a site, and these processes often provide tools to assist in specific analysis for a role or task.


Data management can be a key differentiator for retail destinations

But often the vital step towards achieving the bigger picture has not been made; joining data sources in an efficient way to deliver a live view of business changes. ART software group has spent the past 18 years providing analysis solutions for retail shopping environments, integrating data feeds and collecting data to provide insights that drive sales and growth. ART’s management tool, Retail Advantage is already servicing over 70 per cent of the UK’s outlets, and continues to see expansion in the full-price sector as the traditional data gap between landlord and retailer subsides. Shopping centres seeking to unlock their data are also looking to expand access to everyone across the business and achieve a greater return on investment from separate data sources. ART’s Jordan says: “To do this you need an understanding of who is looking at the data and what they need from it, as this can vary greatly by role and situation. Therefore, there has to be versatility in analysis, from summaries that can be understood at a glance, to data views that can be manipulated to extract deeper understanding. The best intelligence tools translate data into insights that suit your needs at the time of access and support initiatives across the business.” Moving from traditional methods of data collection and analysis can be a daunting step. Another key factor for shopping centres is the quality of data. Generally, the more data you pull together the higher the potential for error. That is why it is essential to work with partners who have experience in integrating data sources and maintaining data accuracy. The goal is not to remove humans from the equation, but to empower them with intelligent, interactive tools that leverage time previously spent making sense of data.

Gareth Jordan is commercial director at ART Software Group


HACK ATTACK Is your shopping centre IT and data compliant? asks Richard Fountain


Richard Fountain is a director at ITVET and Retail Report

here are a variety of different IT systems and services installed at every shopping centre, including the car park, CCTV, BMS and footfall counters, to name but a few. It would be easy to think that the respective providers of these systems would manage and maintain the networks they are installed on to make sure they are secure from hackers and other online threats. But unfortunately this is often not the case as many third-party providers will only accept liability for their own equipment and not for the data network they are installed on, or for the internet connection that is used to remotely access them. This leaves a huge black hole in the IT security at each centre and could potentially lead to catastrophic failures and expensive outages if the systems go down. At ITVET we have already seen several shopping centre’s car park systems unable to take payment for several days, costing the landlord thousands of pounds in lost income. Aside from this, there is the data security aspect, for which the potential fines for non-compliance are huge. It is worth pointing out that many of these third-party systems such as the car park or BMS may have been installed several years ago, with the data cabling and infrastructure being even older. We have seen some cable installations dating back as far as 20 years. In many cases, they have not been maintained or checked for quality or

security and are simply left untouched from the day of installation. Unlike electrical installations, which require certificated installers and regular maintenance, data networks are not afforded the same regulatory checks. Hackers and online scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated and we are seeing an increase in third-party systems being hacked into as these criminals broaden their target areas. One of the highest profile cases was the hacking of the display screens in Cardiff city centre, where inappropriate political messages were displayed on them. Sadly, this was not an isolated incident, as there are far more hacks like this that happen but do not get publicised. So, what can be done to protect your centre’s IT systems but also make sure they are compliant? In the first instance, we advise contacting the third-party provider and check if the system is installed on a data network, and if it is, whether they support and maintain it. If the answer is no, then the next step would be to contact your IT support provider and ask them to carry out an audit of the various third-party systems. They will most likely need to liaise directly with the system provider, so that they have all of the information they require to access the system. ITVET has been providing managed IT and communication services to the shopping centre industry for over 10 years and can carry out an in-depth IT audit of any centre. NOVEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 21


DELIVERING ON EXPERIENCE A successful experiential offer can be delivered on a modest budget.



he one thing that gets everyone excited is experiential,” says Alan Thornton, joint managing director at research, marketing and promotions company AL Marketing. “When we speak to developers like Hammerson, the thing we’re finding is that more and more are wanting us to look at the whole experiential side of things as part of the mix. “Ten years ago I was immersed in the marketing of Covent Garden Market in central London. No-one back then ever used the term ‘experiential’, but over the years the word has become as commonplace as ‘destination’ and ‘place-making’ in any marketing discussion in our industry.” Experience is the magic word of the day in retail and it is easy to see why. If consumers were looking for a passive shopping experience, they might as well shop online. Getting shoppers to engage is what makes the bricks and mortar shopping experience the successful industry it has been for centuries, and it doesn’t always have to come from big budget enterprises. Even the smallest campaign can draw consumers into malls and drive up those sought-after footfall numbers.

Fundamental to attracting shoppers to a centre is a well-constructed marketing strategy – if people don’t have the awareness of what’s going on inside a centre then how can they be enticed to make a visit? But in the modern age, with so many means of marketing at our fingertips, what is the best way to communicate activity to potential shoppers? “Historically,” says Thornton, “you might have done an occasional event and put an advert in the paper to generate some excitement, but we’ve found that the market has jumped into something more strategic and thoughtthrough. In terms of communication, which is always important for events because you of course need to make sure people actually come along, the focus is increasingly on social media.” When it comes to social media marketing, it’s a double-edged sword. In an increasingly online world where consumers are spending hours every single day scrolling through their newsfeeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like, it’s an unending fight for attention. Content-driven marketing has to evolve from the old “like, share and subscribe” strategy as people become more ruthless


“Because you have the millions of people coming through the door the mall becomes the advert for itself.” ALAN THORNTON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, AL MARKETING

when it comes to clicking the unsubscribe button on pages they perceive as having a spam-marketing strategy. “One of the best things about experiential marketing is that it’s photographic,” Thornton explains. “It’s exciting and people take photos and share it with their friends through social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and the like. The fact is that because you have the millions of people coming through the door the mall becomes the advert for itself. It really is self-fulfilling.” Promotion is only effective up until the point that it becomes annoying. The power, therefore, is in the hands of the consumers. People are less likely to pay attention to brands than they are to their online friendship networks, so if you have an experiential offer that people can actively engage in, something that provides a capturable moment that people will want to share or talk about then it can have a massive impact on getting shoppers to visit malls. But what kinds of thing can you do to create a buzz around your centre? And how do you create something without breaking the bank? Thornton says that there’s always a way to bring in an experiential offer on a reasonable budget, the key is in planning. He says: “We were brought in by Hammerson for their recent food and beverage plaza development at Westquay because they were conscious is would be a huge empty space. AL was tasked with project-managing the vast open plaza space adjacent to the centre and Southampton’s ancient city walls. This gave us the inspiration for a full annual programme of activity designed to work on quiet weekdays in winter as well as peak time summer. A key factor in this success was a three-way partnership between AL as strategists, WeAreTheFair as event delivery experts and Hammerson itself as a proactive landlord.” Of course, it comes down to the space available and being creative with it. The Westquay plaza benefits from its steps which serve dual purposes in becoming tiered seating for outdoor events such as its light shows. As it is a large open area, there is also the scope to host market stalls and the like, but not every centre is going to have as much actionable space, and so any experiential campaign is likely to hinge on understanding the space and how to utilise it. “For the Galleries in Bristol the trick has been to tap into key city-wide events in order to maximise coverage and stretch the budget,” Thornton continues. “Meanwhile at Market Place, Bolton they generated a big win by partnering with proactive retailers like Game to develop a

sporting event like no other. In-mall activities were planned in conjunction with Sony Playstation VR to bring a totally innovative experience into the centre.” Strategy should be the mantra of any marketing campaign as it can establish customer loyalty and can turn a shopping centre into a destination. The more people come to expect consistently good activity, the less marketing that will need to be done to get them to come along. It’s a matter of consistency. But it is important to remember that marketing is the cart that comes after the experiential horse. “Too often, ‘experiential’ is equated with ‘events’,” says Thornton. “Its little wonder that there’s confusion over how to make experiential marketing a success. As a centre if you are still relying on occasional stiltwalkers or formulaic fashion shows you might be finding your KPI’s a bit underwhelming. “At Market Place Bolton they noticed that the mannequin challenge was starting to dominate social media. They wanted to ride on this trend but had no budget available. Our solution was to work with a local film student and shoot a video involving every single tenant. The result went viral and the campaign went on to win a Golden Apple and ICSC Solal all on a budget of £50. Having a minimal budget is never ideal but shouldn’t prevent you from being creative.” It’s not enough just to put things on and market them and assume people are going to turn up. It has to be things that people are going to engage with and be excited by, and working with commercialisation experts as well as marketing agencies can create exciting, immersive experiences. In order to run a successful experiential campaign, you can’t have one without the other. “In order to deliver, we started working with third parties which has been interesting,” Thornton tells. “Finding the right commercial partner can transform the viability of an event. The Brunswick in Bloomsbury ran a great example of this last Christmas. They partnered with XBox on the launch of a new game and allowed the computer giant to entirely take over its Christmas campaign. The idea played well with the centre’s youthful audience and allowed it to achieve record levels of social engagement.” The takeaways are: people want experience, you need to market this experience, and you need strategy to ensure the experience is marketed effectively and consistently. An event or activity can fail if it's poorly planned, poorly promoted or poorly executed and it can have an impact that lasts long in the minds of the consumer. Failing to plan is planning to fail. NOVEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 23


MEASURING MARKET SHARE Alex McCulloch from retail analysts CACI told this year’s Revo conference why a balanced approach to online retail is the key to centre success.


hanges in shopping habits are a gradual process. There has a lot of scaremongering when it comes to the rise of online shopping and the impact it’s going to have on bricks and mortar retail. The rise of online retail has been the shadow of dread looming over the industry for the past decade, but it might be time to stop worrying. Online retail is here, and it is here to stay. And it’s growing. But is it a problem? According to Alex McCulloch, associate partner at retail analysts CACI, no it is not. “By 2026, clothing and footwear spend online will have grown by £20bn, over a 150 per cent rise on today,” McCulloch said during his presentation at the Revo conference in September. “It’s a faster rising rate than all the other categories and 2024 it will be the biggest online sector. “But charts like this can be a little misleading,” he continued. “If you start looking at this in the context of the wider market, it’s slightly less terrifying. In the same period that the online spend is seeing a massive acceleration, offline spend is going from £178bn to £227bn, so you’re seeing a 28 per cent growth in offline spend. It is the case that online spending goes from being 20 per cent of all spend to 31 per cent so it is a dramatic growth, but even in 2026, offline spend is still dominating the way we shop and the way we behave.” McCulloch asked the audience to consider the question: “Do you get to the end of the month and think ‘oh god, I’ve only spent 15 per cent online this month, I’d better go and top it up and get to my 20 per cent threshold’?” The answer of course being no, because that’s not how people behave.


He broke purchase decisions down into three categories, depending on the nature and positioning of a mall. He said: “A big regional mall will be focused on destination-led trips; a community mall will be much more focused towards the local neighbourhood and routine top-ups; a bulky-goods dominated park will be much more around the big-ticket shop and the quick drop in. Different centres yield different shopper missions.” But what has all this got to do with marketing? It is a matter of how a centre brands its offer and how consistent it is in delivering that offer. Knowing what kind of mission a shopper is most likely to have in visiting a specific type of shopping location should be central to every marketing strategy. “The key point,” McCulloch explained, “is that as a measure it is objective. Even though we’re measuring why you chose to go shopping, it is a standard measure and that’s where landlords will use this data to understand what role an asset plays in the minds of a customer. Ask what does my asset stand for? what does my centre stand for? why do people choose to come here? and that can help informing a lot of your decisions.” The key is consistency as during his presentation, McCulloch mentioned how much he talks about toilets and maintaining a good toilet rating. He said: “It’s those small things that when you go into a shopping centre actually make or break whether you want to be there.” So, at the end of the day, maybe the best marketing strategy should be to stop constantly trying to raise awareness among consumers and instead let word of mouth, or word of social media, bring them to you. If it’s good: they will come.

Alex McCulloch is associate partner at CACI


PURSUIT OF APPINESS Should shopping centres invest in their own smartphone apps? Iain Hoey weighs up the pros and cons.


o app or not to app has been a point of discussion for several years now. The potential benefits an app can yield in terms of driving footfall and creating excitement around malls is theoretically palpable. The reality is that a shopper might download an app upon first hearing about it and deleting it as soon as the need to make room on their phone for something more useful. Even as smartphones boost their memory capacity, consumers don’t just shop in one place and there’s little likelihood of them hosting a collection of retail-oriented apps, especially with individual retailers clawing for their own slice of the pie. It’s an oversaturated market and the time, money and effort that needs put into creating a successful app is likely better spent elsewhere. But there is a certain kudos to having a presence in the smartphone market, and so if it’s going to be done at least keep it simple. Take, for example, the SmartRewards app that launched in September at Gray’s Shopping Centre in Essex. It checks all the boxes you would expect for a centre app: a rewards point system, exclusive offers, loyalty-based mechanics. The app is a well-constructed, uncomplicated, well thought out use of smart phone technology. The app is geared equally for retailer and shoppers, with the best news for the retailers being that there are no direct costs for uploading and promoting offers. It works by giving the centre retailers the ability to control their own

promotions at the touch of a button and communicate this to app users. Retailers can choose when to launch an offer, how long it runs for and can track the rate of redemption. It’s a quick and easy process and promotions can be created and removed almost instantly. And for shoppers its cyclical and builds loyalty: visit centre, earn points, use points for offers, earn points with repeat business. When it comes to getting an app for your centre, the bottom line is: the people who will be willing to engage with and download an app are generally the money-savvy bargain hunters whose overall spend on a visit probably isn’t going to hit the mark of the average consumer. The deep-pocketed shoppers are more than willing to part with their cash already and giving them a free muffin the next time they have a coffee isn’t likely to change that. But if you’re going to have one, don’t make it over-complicated.

SMART REWARDS APP: HOW IT WORKS In its Retail Revolutions: 2018 Outlook report, Savills forecasts a number of key trends that will gain traction in the sector next year. These include:

SHOPPER POINTS Shoppers at Grays Shopping are able to collect points based on certain actions they take with the app; such as checking in, sharing or entering a certain area of the centre. These points are shown at the top right hand corner of the app and increase or decrease depending on points collected or redeemed.

REWARDS POINTS Each reward in SmartRewards carries a certain number of points that are needed to redeem it. These can be 20 points for a cup of coffee or 100 points for a month’s free gym membership for example. The points needed are shown next to the description of the rewards in the app.

EASY COMMUNICATIONS Each reward in SmartRewards carries a certain number of points that are needed to redeem it. These can be 20 points for a cup of coffee or 100 points for a month’s free gym membership for example. The points needed are shown next to the description of the rewards in the app.



DESTINATION DINING The Crown Estate is looking to increase dwell time by improving the F&B offer at its shopping parks


riginally emerging as a terrace of warehouses with adjacent car parks, the retail park model is one that has worked for decades. But consumer tastes are changing and, as with every other retail-centric destination, retail parks are having to adapt. As consumers become more expectant, the F&B offering on parks has had to grow and diversify to turn more shoppers into diners. When it comes to F&B, the most successful parks are the ones which maximise convenience in every sense. Everything from getting in and getting out, to hosting the right tenant mix for every shopper’s needs, to having good wayfinding throughout the park all contribute to making sure a visitor to the site has a smooth ride. “Visiting a retail destination is about much more than just shops,” says the Crown Estate’s head of regional retail portfolio Geoff Ford. “Many of our customers want a day out that gives them access to a variety of experiences, of which food and beverage is an important part. Different shoppers will be looking for different things and will have different needs. “We recognise that there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” Ford continues. “We’re driven by a focus on creating brilliant places at all our destinations, and the balance of convenience and experience must be tailored for each location. “For food and beverage that can mean a ‘grab and go’ offering at some destinations, whereas at others we are delivering spaces to socialise, relax or plan other activities as part of a day out. We are also offering a range of price points to suit all our visitors – from lunches on the go to meals out with friends and family.” At Rushden Lakes, the F&B offer caters to all wants and needs from café culture, including Patisserie Valerie, Jamaica Blue, Bewiched, Café Nero, Costa Drive-thru, and M&S Café, to lakeside dining with the Eden Champagne 26 | SHOPPING CENTRE NOVEMBER 2017

Bar and House of Fraser extending the shopping park into an F&B destination. And it’s not just about fixed operators – pop up has its place in shopping parks as much as it does in centres, for special events and promotions. The Crown Estate is regularly complementing the permanent F&B line-up with pop-up events, such as the Coliseum Foodie Weekender over August Bank Holiday which brought independent food stalls into the park, and at Rushden Lakes the cinema on the lake was complemented by waffle vans, hot chocolate stands and marshmallow toasting. “Across our regional retail portfolio we’ve not only expanded our food and beverage offer but, at our newest schemes, strived to create an integrated experience,” Ford concludes. “That’s seen us bringing together fantastic retail, leisure, and dining, in accessible, convenient, and attractive spaces, and we are working hard to create destinations which attract new brands.”

Geoff Ford is head of regional retail portfolio at the Crown Estate


ECO-FRIENDLY EATING The Galleries’ new Bristol Kitchen reduces food waste to zero.


ne of the biggest issues faced by the F&B industry is the volume of food waste it generates on a daily basis. The rise and rise of F&B in malls has posed a strain on sustainability targets as food waste continues to grow. The hospitality and food service industries alone produce close to 3.5m tons of food waste a year, of which almost 2m tons ends up in landfill, so it is easy to see why it has become an issue that has drawn substantial attention. As a result, many of the UK’s leading shopping centre operators are installing smart, on site food waste digestion technology into their sites to help minimise costs and meet sustainability targets. And last month, the Galleries shopping centre in Bristol opened a new environmentally and community conscious offering: The Bristol Kitchen. The Bristol Kitchen is the brainchild of Ruby Bashir and Cordon Bleu chef, Mumtaz Ghaffar, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants under the likes of Marco Pierre White. Ghaffar currently runs The Real Junk Food Project in London, an enterprise set up to divert food being sent to landfill and redistribute it to local communities or turn into meals. The scheme currently intercepts one tonne of food per week and has successfully raised over £43,000 through crowdfunding to refurbish a building to house a ‘pay as you feel’ café. The Bristol Kitchen boasts zero-waste credentials, with all unsold food as well as extras being donated to local shelters and women’s refuge centres in the city. Ghaffar himself hand

delivers the meals in take-away bags to the shelters and witnesses first-hand the difference the enterprise has made. Ghaffar says the scheme has helped alleviate the foodwaste guilt that comes from being a chef: “We’re really excited about the Bristol Kitchen. Cooking is a major passion of mine and food waste a major bugbear, so to be able to initiate a business which addresses both and provides for those going through so many challenges, is a great feeling.” The menu at The Bristol Kitchen includes: hand battered fish ‘n’ chips, Pukka Pies, sausages, gourmet burgers, chip butties, curry sauce and all-day breakfasts, as well as various comfort foods and daily specials. There is also the healthier option with the Toss & Turn make-your-own salad bar, featuring lots of alternative toppings. The eatery is a beacon of sustainability, minimising transport costs by using local suppliers for meat, dairy, fruit and veg, supporting the local infrastructure. On top of this, the restaurant stamps in its environmentally conscious output by ensuring that all packaging is biodegradable and the cod used for its fish and chips is line-caught. Colin Lang, centre manager at the Galleries, gives the enterprise his stamp of approval, adding: “The Bristol Kitchen is a very welcome addition to The Galleries. Not only does it offer our customers a delicious menu to choose from but it also supports the local community in various ways – from the supply of the ingredients to the distribution of the leftovers to those less fortunate. At the Galleries we heartily support enterprises such as this.” NOVEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 27


THE FUTURE OF LEISURE F&B is to be a major focus at this year’s MAPIC trade show in Cannes. Sales manager Caroline Renou explains how it is transforming shopping centres across Europe. WHY IS ENTERTAINMENT SO IMPORTANT FOR SHOPPING CENTRES? Entertainment is a solution that will attract customers. It offers something that you can’t get online in an increasingly online world. It can make people get away from their computers and put down their mobile phones and gives them something physical that they can actually engage in. It’s a part of the overall leisure theme we’re wanting to focus on this year at MAPIC.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN ASPECTS THAT NEED TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN YOU DO MASTER PLANNING FOR MALLS? The amount of space available to work with is the biggest determining factor when it comes to master planning because you can have anything from a small scale soft play area for young children to a warehouse-sized trampoline park. That goes alongside location, because of course in centres positioned in built-up areas like city centres there realistically is not going to be room for an indoor theme park. It’s ultimately about finding out what the local demand is like and what will work for your centre.

HOW DOES THE LAYOUT BENEFIT THE CENTRES IN TERMS OF DRIVING FOOTFALL? Shopping centres are increasingly becoming all-in-one concepts. Consumers want to check off as many boxes as possible: shopping, banking, collecting a parcel, eating out, going to the cinema etc all in one day and the goal is to offer that. Layout is important in terms of being easy to navigate, maybe by keeping all your retail on one floor, your F&B on another and leisure and entertainment on another. Of course, there are going to be disrupters, but the point is making sure you cater to everything and making it as convenient and smooth for the consumer as possible. 28 | SHOPPING CENTRE NOVEMBER 2017

One of the big issues in recent times that centres have had is lease lengths, but that seems to be changing. The option for shorter leases is growing and is having a positive impact on making sure the tenant mix is right and that there is always scope and flexibility to host new experiences. Making room for pop-up concepts and having a good space to trial them is important for capitalising on the latest trends.

HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE F&B IN THE UK TO ELSEWHERE? With the UK, there was a massive growth in F&B over the last few years with dedicated openings and expansions, which has been hugely successful in regenerating a lot of schemes, but that’s really reached saturation point now. Obviously, things don’t happen overnight and it’s still an ongoing thing, but the market has dramatically slowed down again. The thing I would note which is successful here is the food hall concept which isn’t as trendy yet in Europe, but there are sites in, for example, Lisbon that are becoming increasingly popular.

WHAT ARE THE LATEST TRENDS AND WHAT DO YOU EXPECT WILL WE SEE NEXT? One of the more exciting things we’re seeing interest developing in are small indoor theme parks, which are really popular in the US. Then of course you have trampoline parks like Gravity which have seen large expansion over the past few years and are showcasing at MAPIC. VR, which has been a big industry buzzword, is actually seeing some positive movement, such as with We Play’s coin-operated VR concept – it’s a small experience where users are able to explore a Mayan temple but it’s something that is going to be interesting to watch. And there are also modular indoor playground concepts from the likes of HappyBox and Funtopia which are definitely ones to watch.

Caroline Renou is sales manager at Reed Exhibitions


INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE Meadowhall’s new leisure development is as much about boosting the local economy as it is about bringing the fun.


t is easy to focus on the consumer when it comes to bringing leisure into malls, as they are key to the success of any new venture in the retail environment. But just as significant is the impact it can have on a local economy by creating hundreds of new jobs on one fell swoop, from construction to permanent positions with new operators when the scheme is up and running. After 26 years in business, the British Land-owned Meadowhall shopping centre recently unveiled plans for refurbishment to widespread local support. At the heart of the plan is the new Leisure Hall, which the centre hopes will draw shoppers from its competitors in nearby cities such as Manchester and Leeds. The plans, as they stand, will see the Sheffield centre boost its visibility and become a vibrant new landmark for the area. At present, 94 per cent of jobs in Meadowhall are held by Sheffield City Region residents, and as part of the upgrade, the scheme is to enter into a legal obligation to ensure the majority of new jobs created at The Leisure Hall will be available to residents of the local community and across Sheffield. The proposal calls for 540 jobs during the construction phase, and creating 1,400 permanent positions when the Leisure Hall opens. The proposal hopes to unlock economic benefits and help grow the Sheffield and wider city region economy. It is set on making sure the opportunities are first and foremost avaliable to businesses and workers in the surrounding area, with a target in place to ensure that at least 30 per cent of total construction costs are delivered by businesses within a 25-mile radius of Meadowhall. The key features for the Leisure Hall are to be: new places to eat and drink, including a café court and dining areas; an open-air roof terrace that will allow visitors to dine outside at Meadowhall for the first time; a state-of-theart multiscreen cinema to replace the old multiplex in the Oasis; a small food store; and the potential for other leisure facilities such as bowling, table tennis, clip and climb, urban golf to be included.

MAKING A LANDMARK The most striking feature of the scheme will be the glass roof which has been designed to ripple over the Leisure Hall. Once built, the Leisure Hall should bring a unique piece of architecture to Sheffield City Region and become a prominent addition to the area’s skyline. The indoor and outdoor public spaces are to be extensively landscaped and interwoven with areas of new planting. The proposed new multi-storey car park will be used as a further opportunity to ensure that the Leisure Hall incorporates green principles where possible, with plans to deliver ‘living walls’ on the outside of the car park. The living walls are to wrap around the multi-storey car park with a range of climbing plants. The Leisure Hall has also been brought forward with carbon reduction targets in mind by including plans to install solar panels on the roof of the new cinema that will provide at least 10 per cent of the Leisure Hall’s energy consumption. During the planning process the Highways Agency expressed concern about the impact of even more visitors and workers on the local road network. So the plans include investment to improve the local road network and encourage more people to walk, cycle or use public transport, easing wider congestion across the local road network. NOVEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 29


Retailers invest in experience Shoppers in the UK no longer see the mall as just somewhere to make a purchase. Increasingly they are opting to ‘shop and stay’, spending time – and money – in shops that offer engaging and entertaining experiences. New research from Barclaycard reveals that retailers who are tapping into the growth of the ‘experience economy’ by hosting events and providing entertainment in their physical stores have seen annual turnover increase by an average of 14 per cent. With consumer spending on experiences and entertainment up 10.5 per cent so far this year, savvy retailers are looking to capitalise on this trend. Over a third (36 per cent) now host events in-store, such as classes, courses and exclusive sales previews, with 19 per cent planning to start doing so in the next three years. Indicating that retailers now view events as key to driving footfall and boosting sales, decision-makers plan to increase investment in this area by a further 113 per cent over the next 24 months. To accommodate this, retailers intend to significantly reduce the amount they are investing in other business priorities, such as revamping their store layout (which they plan to decrease by 51 per cent), increasing the variety and amount of stock (41 per cent), or improving their website layout (33 per cent). George Allardice, head of strategy at Barclaycard Payment Solutions, said: “Retailers who take advantage of the opportunities in the experience economy can really reap the rewards. Our research has found that shoppers increasingly want to stay in stores for longer, rather than head home with their purchases.”

Growth continues in Ireland According to new CBRE research, the Irish retail sector has continued to show positive fundamentals driven by strong economic conditions and monthly footfall growth during the last six months. Retail sales volumes across all businesses grew by 0.7 per cent in the month of August and by 4.7 per cent year-on-year. Irish households have experienced an increase in disposable income in recent months with average weekly earnings rising by 2.2 per cent year-on-year. According to CBRE, occupier activity has largely been positive on many high streets around the 30 | SHOPPING CENTRE NOVEMBER 2017

country and four of the top 10 Irish retail destinations recorded an improvement in occupancy rates in the last six months. Cork’s high street vacancy decreased slightly to 9.1 per cent, while, high street vacancy in Dublin remained stable at 3.9 per cent. Galway maintained its status as the tightest market, with a vacancy rate of only 1.8 per cent, boosted by strong footfall and considerable tourist activity. Vacancy rates in Limerick (8.5 per cent), Waterford (5.8 per cent), Belfast (6.0 per cent) and Kilkenny (4.3 per cent) remained relatively stable.

Bernadine Hogan, senior director of retail agency at CBRE Ireland, said: “Demand remains strong for well-located neighbourhood schemes and shopping centres from service occupiers, food & beverage operators and beauty retailers. We continue to see international retailers seeking to secure stores in prime locations, while many indigenous occupiers are continuing to roll out expansion programmes across the country. Occupiers are attracted to the Dublin market given that prime rents are competitive compared to other European locations such as London or Paris”.





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ping centres saw the first net increase in two years and retail parks also edged up. Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company, said: “This is significant in what is a challenging environment and where many chain retailers

are closing stores. As the numbers show, independents are an increasingly important stakeholder in every town centre up and down the country and therefore an understanding of how they are performing is key.”

Independent retailer profile – Safia Khalid Eight years ago when Safia Khalid was a single mum supporting two young children she had a life choice to make. She could either depend on the state to support her and her family or take a risk and start her own business. Luckily for her, Safia chose the latter and although she has overcome many challenges along the way and learnt that getting it wrong on occasion is a part of the journey of becoming a success, it’s been an exciting journey so far. Safia began working on a market stall selling handbags. But, as she had always had a passion for beauty she decided to follow that route. Safia opened her first beauty unit in Gravesend Market and today she has expanded to 15 beauty and barber businesses at locations from Kent to Birmingham. “There have been many highlights along the way,” Safia said. Opening her first beauty business unit at Gravesend was a huge achievement and the launch of her first barbers at Fareham shopping centre in October 2014 was a shift in a slightly different direction which won her an Opal Award in 2015 In September 2017, Safia opened her first retail unit inside a shopping centre at Ellandi’s Priory in Dartford, a deal that was facilitated by her mentor Paul Clifford.

Safia concluded: “There have been a number of challenges, ranging from finding the right technicians to serve customers to unit design. The greatest challenge is being patient, it’s too easy

to become despondent when business is slow or something goes wrong, and it will, but believe in your dream, stick with it and it will happen. It did for me.”


Source: Local Data Company

Data from the Local Data Company and the British Independent Retailers Association shows that in first half of 2017 independent retailers opened significantly more shops than in the same period last year, while the national chains continued to see a fall. Independent shops saw an increase of +762 shops, an increase of 0.27 per cent, in H1 2017 while chain retailers showed a net loss of -659 shops, a fall of 0.33 per cent. During the six-month period 28,076 independents opened 14,419 stores and closed 13,657. Key growth sectors have been barbers, cafes, tobacconists/e-cigarette shops, and hair & beauty salons while sectors in decline include pubs, women’s clothing shops, newsagents and electrical goods. And geographically the North West showed the greatest increase of independent stores while the East of England and the South West showed the greatest falls. Independents continue to favour the high street over other retail locations, and a net 562 units opened in the first half of the year. However, shop-






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Time for a fresh look at parking

Striking the balance between parking as cost centre and parking as revenue stream and a tool to engage with customers has never been more vital says Max Crane-Robinson Our view at NCP is that the balances are tilting and that parking should be seen as a commercial driver to be leveraged rather than a cost to be managed downwards. Next’s recent announcement that it is agreeing rents 24 per cent lower than existing levels point to the fact that values from space inside retail centres are falling, so landlords and property managers should perhaps look to the areas quite literally on their doorstep – the car parks. Car parks – which have hitherto been seen as a cost of doing business and an opportunity cost versus retail space – could be one way for retail property owners to offset potential lost income. Perhaps owners and managers should look to the airport model where about a third of income is now generated not from landing planes or commercial retail but from parking cars. Enhanced by valet parking and efficient yield management from convenience-tiered pricing, car parks have become a mainstay of operator revenues. Other venues have long realised the value in their parking. Event-goers can have their car valet cleaned while they enjoy a show. Or they may pay a small premium to guarantee spaces near the entrance to the venue or next to the exit of the car park. The models by which parking can be made to act as a revenue centre are established. And the benefits of thinking of car parks as a way of establishing a data-based relationship with consumers should be evident. 34 | SHOPPING CENTRE NOVEMBER 2017

Recent research by NCP found that two of the three most important factors for consumers when visiting a shopping centre or retail park are parking-related. Low – rather than zero – cost parking is the single most important factor mentioned when shoppers are asked about their considerations when choosing a retail destination (cited by 72 per cent of those asked). A good range of shops came in second place (cited by 61 per cent of shoppers) and the availability of good parking facilities came third (mentioned by 55 per cent of respondents). At the same time, shoppers said that they would be unlikely to return to a retail outlet where they had experienced poor parking. So the importance of a parking operation is evident in the consumers’ minds. And those who took part in our research expressed a clear willingness to pay where they could see value would be returned. Getting parking wrong will only serve to accelerate an already dwindling rate of store visits. The costs of technology such as app or webbased pre-booking, creating customer accounts for management and payment of parking and of installing new technologies such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition have all fallen substantially. In turn, that means that the cost of establishing direct, one-to-one relationships with customers has fallen by an equivalent sum – to the extent that it is now an effective investment that will pay itself back in a relatively short period of time.

Smart shopping centre or retail park owners that do not directly own customer relationships (whereas their retail tenants often do) have realised that parking is one place where they can acquire data and establish a relationship with their consumers and put that data to good use. It is why NCP has established its’ business development team to ensure landlords and retailers can access their expertise from those with many years’ experience as professionals ensuring that parking more than pays its way.

Max Crane-Robinson is commercial director at NCP


Liver bird takes wing The world’s largest Liver Bird has been unveiled as Liverpool shopping park’s first retailers open their doors. Standing at 11 metres tall, the Liver Bird sculpture is made of fabricated Meccano pieces in a nod to the area’s history as home of Liverpool-born toy-maker Frank Hornby and the first Meccano factory. Commissioned jointly by the Derwent group, Liverpool City Council and Meccano’s parent company Spin Master, the sculpture has been designed by internationally-renowned artist Emma Rodgers. The sculpture took more than a year to design and manufacture, used seven tonnes of steel and involved more than 1,000 hours of metalworking. Once complete, the £100m redevelopment of the former Edge Lane retail park will become the UK’s

largest shopping park at 727,000 sq ft. It will be anchored by brands including H&M, Outfit, JD Sports, Smyths Toys and Boots. Work is already underway on phase two, which will include Hollywood Bowl, a multiplex cinema and a host of food & beverage operators, due to open in Autumn 2018. The park is expected to create 3,000 jobs. Derwent group chief executive David Lyons said: “There’s hundreds of Liver Birds across the city but it’s a real privilege to say that we have one of our own, and the world’s largest, here at Liverpool shopping park. It’s also very fitting as the statue is made of Meccano and it stands on the site of the first Meccano factory. We’re expecting a lot of interest and think it makes the perfect backdrop for a Liverpool selfie.”

This month’s moves . . . KLM RETAIL has recruited two new graduates. ALICE GRINDROD joins the retail investment team and VICTORIA PERKINS the lease advisory team.

UK COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TRUST has appointed MARGARET LITTLEJOHNS as a non-executive director. She spent nearly 20 years at Citigroup and most recently she has been finance director for The Space Place.

SOVEREIGN CENTROS has appointed MICHAEL THOMAS as a senior asset and development manager. He joins from Landsec, where he was a portfolio manager in the shopping centre team, particularly focusing on White Rose in Leeds. Prior to this, he was an asset manager on Bluewater for Lend Lease.

CBRE has appointed SIAN DOYLE as head of UK business development for its retail advisory & transaction business. Doyle joins from EE where she was director of retail responsible for 583 stores in the UK. Prior to that she was senior vice president of retail for US telecoms company Comcast and she was vice president of retail at Canadian telecommunications and media company Rogers Communications.

BMO REAL ESTATE PARTNERS has appointed KENNETH YUEN as an analyst in its investment management team and DAN WALSGROVE as a retail asset manager. Yuen joins from Sisu Advisors and previously held analyst positions with

Fairplace rewards York Place York Place shopping centre in Newcastle under Lyme has become the first UK shopping centre to win a major ethical workplace award. The scheme, managed by Hometown Plus, has been accredited with the Fairplace Award, the leading ethical workplace management accreditation. The Fairplace programme is organised by the Ethical Property Foundation. CEO Antonia Swinson explained: “With the UK’s retail sector increasingly encouraged to champion social

responsibility, the Fairplace Award allows good business to evidence best practice to the community outside the front door, the people in the workplace as well as the environment.” Hometown Plus managing director Mike Riddell said: “The award is great news for York Place. It gives independent validation of our approach to revitalising this once-failing shopping centre. We are now working with our tenants to further improve the shopping centre as a place that is good for people, communities and our planet.”

DTZ, Clearbell Capital and Werner Capital. Walsgrove was previously an associate at LaSalle Investment Management.

THE MALL AT CRIBBS CAUSEWAY has appointed new head of marketing, SIMON BRACE, who has 20 years of experience in marketing roles at national and global brands. He most recently worked as director at Bristol agency, The Real Adventure.



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Shopping Centre Magazine - November 2017  
Shopping Centre Magazine - November 2017