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SHOPPINGCENTRE The business of retail destinations

October 2017 • £8.00

Private screening Outdoor screens deliver personalised content

16 Events Theatre and excitement increase dwell time

20 Commercialisation Mid-sized malls need tailored approach

26 Sustainability Ellandi relamps its community malls


Editor Graham Parker 07956 231 078

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.

Congratulations to Revo on the revamp of their exhibition in Liverpool last month. The new layout felt far more democratic and allowed smaller players to feel they had equal billing with the big landlords and agents, and

All rights reserved © JLD Media 2017

Graham Parker Editor Shopping Centre

NEWS & ANALYSIS 04 05 06 09 10 12 14

Meadowhall Leisure Hall moves forward Green light for Glass Works Lettings kickstart Poole revamp New plan for Liverpool’s Lewis’s Building Free stores for startups Brands target new schemes Retail headwinds abating

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cards and a notebook full of new business leads only seems to increase year-on-year. And with that the chances to reflect on the bigger issues affecting our industry – to ‘think’ rather than to ‘do’ – diminish. Such is the nature of business today, I guess. But I do think many, myself included, are missing out on something valuable.


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by removing the big showpiece stands the cost base for everyone came down. It was also good to see new zones dedicated to local authorities and proptech in prominent positions, emphasising Revo’s desire to widen its constituency. But the perennial problem for delegates – whether to prioritise business meetings in the exhibition hall or learning opportunities in the conference hall – has not been resolved. The pressure on everyone to come back with a fistful of business


Events – Creating theatre and excitement in malls can exponentially increase dwell time Commercialisation – What can smaller malls learn from commercialisation in regional malls? Sustainability – Relamping community malls with LEDs drives quick wins for Ellandi

REGULARS 30 34 35 35

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Data – Retail facts & figures Soapbox – Time for managers to embrace proptech People – Braehead security staff get on their bikes Moves – All the latest job moves

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Meadowhall Bounce poised Leisure Hall for growth moves forward Sheffield City Council’s planning committee has voted to grant planning consent for British Land’s 330,000sq ft Leisure Hall development at Meadowhall. The £300m extension will transform the centre’s leisure offer for its 24 million annual visitors. The extension will integrate with the front of the existing centre featuring dining and entertaining options, a new cinema, café court, gym, open-air terrace and space for leisure, event and community use. The Leisure Hall will follow the £60m refurbishment that is due to be completed this autumn, ahead of the peak Christmas trading period. In parallel with the landlord’s investment 40 retailers including All Saints, Hollister, House of Fraser and Hugo

Boss have invested more than £34m in redesigning and refitting their existing stores. In the 12 months to June 2017, all 61 occupiers with leases due to expire renewed their tenancies and eight of these retailers increased the size of their space within the centre. And 30 new brands including Flannels, Tag Heuer, Nespresso, Neal’s Yard and Godiva have signed at Meadowhall over the last 18 months, Charles Maudsley, head of retail, leisure and residential for British Land, said: “The refurbishment completing later this year, our continued leasing success, significant store investment by retailers and the Leisure Hall proposals are all significant steps in the centre’s continued evolution.”

Social Entertainment Ventures has appointed Cushman & Wakefield as sole agent for the national roll-out of its successful leisure and restaurant concept, Bounce. The firm’s leisure & restaurant team will be acquiring sites for Bounce, which combines ping pong with a bar and restaurant concept and plans to open 20 new venues by 2020. Founded by Adam Breeden, who also co-founded All Star Lanes and

Flight Club, Bounce currently has two locations in Farringdon and Shoreditch in London and one in Chicago, which offer cocktails, pizza and 17 table tennis tables in a 12,500 sq ft site. Breeden said: “We understand the dynamics behind the sector’s growing popularity and have demonstrated this with the success of Bounce. We now have the opportunity to take the concept into new locations across the UK in an ambitious national roll-out.”

NewRiver secures double Primark deal NewRiver has agreed two deals with Primark, activating former BHS units at the Priory Meadow shopping centre in Hastings and the Abbey centre at Newtownabbey, Belfast. In Hastings, Primark will take the 29,800-sq ft store with works planned to begin in Spring 2018, and completion targeted for Summer 2018. The deal brings the centre occupancy to 100 per cent and complements the strong existing fashion retail mix which includes H&M, 4 | SHOPPING CENTRE OCTOBER 2017

Topshop, M&S, River Island and New Look. At Newtownabbey, Primark will increase its trading space by 75 per cent to 26,700 sq ft in Summer 2018. Over the last 18 months the centre has seen a new 42,000-sq ft full-range Next store, an extended and fully-refurbished Dunnes Stores and the introduction of New Look, Caffé Nero and Nando’s alongside other lettings and refurbishments to the mall, signage, car park, branding and entrances.


Green light for Glass Works Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council has approved Phase 2 of The Glass Works, the 590,000-sq ft scheme being brought forward in Barnsley town centre by Queensberry and Turner and Townsend, in conjunction with the council. Phase 2 of the scheme will include the development of 100,000 sq ft of new retail space, over 25,000 sq ft of food & beverage units and over 90,000 sq ft of leisure facilities including a 13screen Cineworld cinema and a Superbowl bowling alley. A 494 space-multi storey car park will support the project. Phase 1 of the scheme, which is currently under construction, incorporates a new library and a new home for the 700-year old Barnsley Markets. Earlier this year the council committed a further £70m to fund the second phase of the scheme, bringing its total investment to £130m. Stuart Harris, commercial director and co-founder of Queensberry, said:

"Phase 2 will create an outstanding new retail and leisure facility for Barnsley,” and he added: “The Glass Works has already attracted a lot of interest

from nationally renowned retailers and restaurants and we look forward to announcing some new occupiers in the coming months.”

Footfall surges in Basingstoke AEW’s refresh of Festival Place, Basingstoke, has succeeded in attracting new customers, boosting annual footfall to 22.4 m from 20m prior to the works. The introduction of six new brands, plus the relocation and rightsizing of four prominent existing names within the centre have added to the attractiveness of the 1.1m-sq ft retail and leisure destination. Swarovski, Apricot, Yankee Candle and Lovisa have signed up to join the retail line-up while Patisserie Valerie will enhance Festival Place’s menu of restaurants and trampoline brand, Flip Out, will join the family-friendly leisure offer. River Island, JD and Burger King will all be relocating and extending their leases while Starbucks is refurbishing its 2,000 sq ft unit.

Primark signs at Barton Square intu has signed up Primark as the first new tenant for its £74m transformation of intu Trafford Centre’s Barton Square. Under the plans Barton Square is set to gain an extra 110,000 sq ft of retail space, a new glassdomed roof and a fully redesigned interior. The Primark unit will incorporate space previously occupied by BHS Home and is set to open in 2019 as work on Barton Square completes. Other brands already in place there include Sea Life Manchester, Legoland Discovery Centre and Next Home. Colin Flinn, regional managing director for intu, said: “This is a significant milestone for intu Trafford Centre that will enable us to reposition and redevelop an important part of the centre so that we can create even better customer experiences and more opportunities for retailers to flourish.” Work is due to start on site during the first half of next year. Cushman & Wakefield acted for intu and Lambert Smith Hampton acted for Primark.



AVIVA STARTS TO LET HEMEL SCHEME Aviva Investors and Trilogy Developments have signed the first pre-lets at the 134,584-sq ft Maylands Gateway retail park in Hemel Hempstead. Aldi has agreed a 20-year lease on 18,500 sq ft while McDonald’s will occupy a two-storey 5,445-sq ft drive thru restaurant on a 25-year lease and Costa Coffee will open a 1,800-sq ft drive thru unit on a 15-year lease. Savills and Wilkinson Williams are agents for the 12-uni scheme due to open in phases up to late 2019.

UK DEBUT FOR AUSSIE BRAND COLETTE Colette by Colette Hayman, the Australian fashion handbags and accessories retailer, is set to make its UK debut with two stores in London and Manchester. Agent CBRE has secured a 2,325-sq ft flagship store at Westfield Stratford City which will open in October and this will be followed by the opening of a second store at the Manchester Arndale Centre in November 2017. Graham Barr, CBRE’s head of UK retail agency, said: “Colette is an exciting brand which is actively looking to grow and expand its presence in the UK.”


Lettings kickstart Poole revamp LGIM Real Assets has signed key lettings at its regeneration of the 530,000-sq ft Dolphin shopping centre in Poole. Already the biggest covered mall in Dorset, the Dolphin centre draws annual footfall of 11m. Empire Cinemas has signed a 25-year lease on a nine-screen cinema which will be the first multiplex in the town centre. Together with four new restaurants, it will create a strong daytime and evening attraction for the south coast town. Planning permission is being sought to redevelop the former Argos store and adjoining units into the new leisure complex which is due to open at the end of 2018. At the same time H&M has signed up to take the former BHS unit occupying 27,000 sq ft over two levels. JD has taken a 6,120-sq ft unit and Smiggle 560 sq ft both on new 10-year leases. Joint leasing agents are Colliers International and Lunson Mitchenall.

Halle Place renewal underway M&G Real Estate and intu have confirmed the first three brands to join the line-up at Halle Place, Manchester Arndale’s new £11m food and beverage development. The 25,000-sq ft fully refurbished space in the heart of the centre will welcome Tapas Revolution, Barburrito and The Fizz! Bar by Frizzenti as the

first three of ten new eateries. Tapas Revolution has taken 2,800 sq ft and Barburrito 2,140 sq ft on 15-year leases while the Fizz! Bar by Frizzenti will trade from 1,300 sq ft on a 10-year lease. As well as providing a new eating and drinking hub, the development will see a new 28,000-sq ft new concept

flagship store for JD Sports, which has signed a 15-year lease. Kannika Mall, asset manager at M&G Real Estate said: “The immediate demand from restaurant brands for space in a designated dining zone has served as evidence of an untapped market within Manchester city centre for a casual dining offer.”

Addington Capital and Tristan Capitali EPISO fund have completed two further deals at Union Square shopping centre in Torquay. That’s Entertainment has taken a three-year lease on 3,000 sq ft while Greggs has taken a five-year lease on 2,200 sq ft meaning the centre is now 99 per cent let with only one vacant unit. Last year Poundworld signed a 10-year lease on 4,000 sq ft joining existing anchors Wilkos, Iceland, Peacocks and The Entertainer.


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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Sponsors & Exhibitors


New plan for Liverpool’s landmark Lewis’s Building The Augur group has bought the landmark Lewis’s Building and five acres of adjoining land in central Liverpool, with plans to regenerate the area and create a new retail and leisure destination, called Circus. In collaboration with Liverpool City Council and Network Rail, the planned development will encompass 400,000 sq ft of the Grade II-listed Lewis’s Building, retaining its iconic façade, while enabling the expansion of Liverpool Central Station. In 2015/2016 Liverpool Central carried nearly 16m passengers making it one of the busiest rail stations in the UK. On completion, the site will offer over 275,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space over five floors. Augur is already in detailed discussions with cinema operators and a number of retail and leisure tenants for the site. Augur chief executive Simon Mann said: “At a time when the city is undergoing major infrastructure improvements we see Circus as a brand new central place for people to come together for retail, leisure and work. It is a prime location where more than 40,000 people travel through daily.”

£20m win for Incentive FM Incentive FM has won a threeyear contract worth £20m at the 1.4m-sq ft Manchester Arndale and the 995,000-sq ft Mall at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol. Joint owners M&G Real Estate and intu in conjunction with managing agent CBRE have appointed Incentive to provide a wide range of cleaning, security, and guest services across both shopping centres. Services will include both general and deep cleaning of common areas and back of house, waste management, landscaping, washroom services and pest control, as well as specialist high- and low-level window cleaning. In addition, the company will be providing 24/7 manned security patrols and world class customer services. CBRE operations director Mike Grayson said: “We have worked closely with Incentive FM over many years and through the rigorous tender process became the obvious choice to look after these shopping centres. Their expertise will ensure that both retailers and consumers benefit from best-inclass standards.”

£460m Woking project begins The £460m redevelopment of Woking town centre has started on site. From 2020, the Victoria Square development will provide more than 125,000 sq ft of new retail floorspace as well as 429 build-to-rent apartments, multi-storey car parking, a medical centre and two public plazas. The site takes in the former Woking Market, Post Office, Globe House, Woking Fire Station and part of the existing Wolsey Place shopping centre and the project is being delivered by a joint venture between Moyallen, which owns the adjoining Peacocks shopping centre, and Woking Borough Council. Marks & Spencer will anchor Victoria Square with a two-level 50,000-sq ft store alongside a new flagship Boots store. Moyallen chief executive Peter Robinson said: “This project is in line with our strategic focus to rapidly drive the area’s potential and its dynamism for the benefit of everyone.”



FREE STORES FOR STARTUPS Revo launches Free Space+ business incubator, offering start-ups free space in 100 UK shopping centres




etail property trade body Revo has joined forces with the British Independent Retailers’ Association to launch Free Space+, a national initiative to offer start-up and growing businesses retail space in shopping centres at no cost. The initiative has won backing from eight of the largest UK retail landlords – Westfield, British Land, Hammerson, Capital & Regional, M&G, Ellandi, New River Retail and Moorgarth – as well as managing agent Montagu Evans. Between them they operate nearly 100 shopping centres, ranging from prime regional centres such as Westfield Stratford, The Bullring in Birmingham and Meadowhall in Sheffield to smaller-scale local shopping centres.. Businesses from across the UK are now being invited to apply for free space. Applicants to Free Space+ will be asked to identify their preferred shopping centre, and demonstrate how trading from that location will accelerate their growth. A judging panel will select ten winners in January 2018, which will then be able to occupy space in their chosen shopping centre for three months. Each successful applicant will also receive a support package from bira, including insurance, legal advice and mentoring. The value to each winning business, including the market rent for the retail space, could be up to £30,000. Revo chief executive Ed Cooke said: “Physical retail space is not only a point of sale, it is integral to building a retail brand and driving website traffic. Free Space+ is the first business incubation initiative of its kind, not only allowing businesses to trade from some of the UK’s leading retail destinations for free, but providing them with the support they need to fully realise its potential. “This in turn, will bring exciting new businesses into shopping centres, where a dynamic mix of businesses is essential to attract shoppers.” Mark Bourgeois, Managing Director for the UK & Ireland at Hammerson, said: “One of the great opportunities for start-up retail businesses is to find space in the right location at the heart of a busy city or town centre community. Free Space+ offers space in our centres at no cost and places aspiring retailers in locations where they can engage with millions of customers directly. Alan Hawkins, CEO of the British Independent Retailers’ Association said: “Independent retailers are essential to the diversity of shopping experiences. They bring excitement, create unique spaces and build authentic connections with local communities. “Independent retailing in the UK has a bright future, and initiatives like this will help entrepreneurs who otherwise may not have been able to take that first step into getting a retail premises.”



BRANDS TARGET NEW SCHEMES New and refurbished shopping centres are reaping rewards, finds Cushman & Wakefield research




etailers are increasingly focusing on new or significantly refurbished UK shopping centres, according to a new report from Cushman & Wakefield, and these schemes accounted for nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of all leasing transactions in the 12 months to June. The report UK Shopping Centres - Dead or Alive analyses over 350 leasing deals undertaken by Cushman & Wakefield over the year to June and evidence shows that investment in the quality of shopping environment, the customer experience and brands is leading to a corresponding rise in sales and leasing activity. Crucially, it also means enhanced rents for the best schemes, as they become more important to retailers that are increasingly selective about store openings. Over the 12 month period, international retailers accounted for nearly 30 per cent of leasing deals, with retailers including Estée Lauder, Typo, L’Oréal, Smiggle, House, Inditex and H&M among those actively expanding. The fast-growing cosmetics and lifestyle/sports sectors accounted for 8.2 and 4 per cent of deals respectively. The trend towards more flexible and shorter leases is also continuing, with an analysis of leases signed over the year to June showing an average length of 6.2 years. Landlords are increasingly embracing flexible leasing strategies, both to incubate new brands and to create opportunities to drive growth. Toby Sykes, head of shopping centre leasing at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “We are seeing fundamental changes in the UK shopping centre market, driven by retailers’ focus on better quality schemes. While some retailers are reducing store networks, there is also a move to larger units in prime locations which serve as flagship stores and a showcase for brands. “The quality of the shopper experience is critical to the success of any retail destination and landlords must adapt by creating spaces where customers can fully engage with brands and move seamlessly from in-store to online.” Darren Yates, Cushman & Wakefield’s head of EMEA retail research & insight, added: “Traditional anchor stores, such as the large department operators, are consolidating both in terms of size and number of outlets, while the international multi-brands are seeking more space. “It’s also true that parts of the shopping centre sector remain challenged and the shakeout of weaker schemes will continue. While this will lead to the repositioning or redevelopment of some shopping centres, it will also give rise to regeneration opportunities. However, we do not see this as a negative trend – more as part of the ongoing evolution of retailing and the continuous renewal of our urban landscape.”



HEADWINDS ABATING New research from Savills predicts a more benign retail climate for 2018


he spending squeeze on UK consumers is set to subside next year, according to the latest retail bulletin from Savills. Throughout 2017 uncertainty over Brexit has tempered consumer confidence and with it retail sales volumes. Yet, retail sales volumes to August 2017 were up 3.0 per cent and Savills asserts that the fundamentals supporting retail sales remain relatively robust. Unemployment remains at historically low levels and the economy is continuing to report growth, albeit this is slowing. Rather it is the squeeze in household spending that is generating the most significant headwinds to sales performance over the short term. Real wage growth moved into negative territory at the 14 | SHOPPING CENTRE OCTOBER 2017

start of 2017 as inflation, driven by the weaker pound, started to outpace wage growth. However, the consensus among economic forecasts is that inflation will start to wane during through 2018, aligning with a positive growth in wages, both of which will help alleviate some of the headwinds facing retail sales performance. While Brexit continues to generate headwinds for retailers nationally, value retailing has remained resilient as it always tends to perform well during periods of economic uncertainty. And less predictably the electrical and jewellery sectors have also performed well with year-on-year sales increases of 9.7 and 18.7 per cent respectively. Performance is more mixed when it comes to clothing


PROPERTY PREDICTIONS 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: and footwear but over the last 12 months clothing sales volumes are up 4.3 per cent, in line with the 20-year annual average of 4.7 per cent. Savills also believes the structural shift towards online retailing is maturing. Online accounted for 14.9 per cent of total retail sales in 2016, yet the annual rate of growth has slowed from 14.4 per cent in 2012 to 7.9 per cent in 2016. And forecasts from GlobalData suggest that growth will slow further to 5.3 per cent by 2022 when online will account for 18.5 per cent of total sales. Retailers are increasingly recognising the important role the store plays in the total retail experience of their customers. Since 2012 Savills has tracked 17 pure-play retailers who now operate their own standalone stores in the UK, 35 and 29 per cent of these being fashion and furniture brands respectively. While the role of the store will not diminish, for certain parts of the market it is likely to mean fewer stores in more strategic locations over the longer term. This 'rightsizing' of store portfolios is unlikely to be good news for landlords, however, it does offer some potential opportunities, particularly in shopping centres. Occupational confidence is predicted to return next year after Savills' retailer demand sentiment tracker recorded its first softening in the months following the EU Referendum. While wider economic uncertainty has played a key role in dampening occupational demand, it has been the squeeze in operational margins that is having the most significant impact. Currency fluctuations and the recent Business Rate revaluation have added to retailers’ costs, eroding profit margins, and this has already fed through to weaker rental value growth, which Savills expects will continue over the next six to 12 months. However, the agent predicts an improvement in rental growth will materialise over the second half of 2018 as cost pressures start to wane. Already, Next has upgraded its sales and profit guidance for the full year and announced plans to add a further 150,000 to 200,000 sq ft of net trading space to its estate next year. Marie Hickey, commercial research director at Savills, concluded: “While this year has clearly been challenging for the UK retail sector, the outlook for 2018 looks brighter. Many of the trends we expect to see emerge point to the beginnings of a return in retailer confidence and could also have a positive outcome for the longer-term health of the sector as a whole.”

RETAILER ACTIVITY TO IMPROVE Overall, this year has seen occupational demand stall as a result of Brexit and the subsequent operational costs generated. As those cost pressures start to subside in 2018, Savills expects occupational demand and retailer confidence to improve, albeit this will be tentative initially, largely focussed on prime locations and likely to be less pronounced among mid-market fashion brands.

RENTAL GROWTH WILL BE SUBDUED BUT IMPROVE POST 2018 Though all UK rental growth is forecast to be relatively subdued in the short term, with average annual growth of 0.3 per cent in 2017 and 2018, Savills expects this to rise to 1.4 per cent per annum through to the end of 2021. Destination retail locations in Central London and destination shopping centres in out of town locations are likely to see the strongest rental growth, says the firm, along with ‘convenience’ locations that demonstrate robust trading performance and with more affordable occupational costs.

RIGHTSIZING PICKS UP PACE Growing acceptance that there is perhaps too much floorspace in the wrong locations will be a key trend in 2018, says Savills. Rightsizing will not just extend to total provision but also to store sizes in some instances, with subdivision of larger units becoming more common in London and the South East.

SHORTER LEASES SEEN MORE FAVOURABLY The move to shorter leases is likely to become more entrenched, driven in part by the upcoming introduction of IFRS accounting standards in January 2019 that will bring all leases onto a company’s balance sheet. Shorter leases will therefore become increasingly attractive to retailers as they will minimise liabilities. However, Savills believes that a preference for longer terms will remain in prime retail locations. The firm also believes that in certain locations and instances landlords will become more comfortable with shorter leases as they offer some operational advantages, particularly in shopping centres, such as providing greater flexibility around retailer mix.

NEW TYPES OF RETAIL OCCUPIERS AND FORMATS Occupiers of retail space will become increasingly diverse, says Savills, highlighting manufacturing and car brands such as Dyson and Tesla which have already started to appear in high footfall locations including Oxford Street and Westfield. This new generation of occupier is focussed on consumer engagement and brand awareness rather than simply direct sales. Savills also expects that some traditionally out of town retailers will seek high street space for smaller concepts to reach a wider pool of consumers and drive online sales.



DRIVING DWELL TIME Creating theatre and excitement in malls can exponentially lengthen a shopping trip


ootfall figures may be the big boast when it comes to the success of shopping centres, but getting shoppers through the doors is a war half one. Keeping them there is the real challenge, and so increasing dwell time is the true measure of success for malls, as the longer shoppers stay, the more likely they are to spend. Commercialisation is at its most successful, therefore, when it is disruptive. Intrigue and excitement are the most effective means of driving dwell time and an unexpected or exciting use of space are proven to push up that average. But what are some of the best ways to create excitement in these spaces? Tapping into something that captures the imagination of all age groups from toddlers to the elderly is not an easy thing to do, but Dino Live at Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge did so this summer. The West Kent centre hosted the four-week event throughout August, giving shoppers the chance to see a selection of prehistoric creatures come to life at sites throughout the mall, with life-size animatronic dinosaurs presented moving and roaring in environments replicating their natural habitats. Marc Burchett, marketing manager at Royal Victoria Place, says the event was a huge success. “It has really exceeded our expectations and we have seen not only local families come to see the event, but also visitors from


the South East region,” he says. “Retailer feedback has also been very positive with many retailers reporting both strong footfall and sales results.” Creating an event that genuinely generates excitement in a mall is no small feat, but experiential agency Maynineteen brought some genuine flair with the Las Vegas-inspired launch of the newly renovated Riverside at the Oracle, Reading, helped by its prominent waterside location.


Taking inspiration from the Bellagio Resort and Casino, the agency brought Vegas glamour to the centre at the 1 September launch by installing a temporary fountain system with 24 high powered jets directly into the canal between two pedestrian footbridges at the centre. Three water shows were illuminated at night for maximum impact and choreographed to a fusion soundtrack of classical and contemporary music. Capitalising on local culture can be a good way of generating excitement in a mall’s catchment area, and Liverpool One used its positioning as the home city of the world’s biggest band of all time, The Beatles, to drive footfall and dwell time. Marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love, the centre invited artists to paint three iconic Volkswagen Beetles for a unique art installation on Paradise Street. Each VW Beetle was designed with a theme of 50 Summers of Love and was painted by professional artists in just a day. Miles Dunnett from Grosvenor Europe, which manages Liverpool One, says: “This was a brilliant showcase for some unique art to which the public response has been overwhelmingly positive. 1967 was the same year the Beatles’ iconic album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was

released and so the city has a special link to the Summer of Love and the art that defined an era. This installation adds to the many enlivenment initiatives that make Liverpool One such a colourful and thriving retail and leisure destination.” And of course, anything targeted at children can turn a shopping trip a real family day out. At Queensmere Observatory over the summer, three free activity days were hosted bringing a different family friendly day full of excitement. First up was Big Farm, which saw the setup of a farmyard themed area, complete with bales of hay and animal props, set the scene for a photo-station. Next came Big Circus featuring a large ‘big top’ stage for circus workshops, hula hooping performances and activity with Britain’s Got Talent Star Lisa Sampson. Finally was Big Beach, complete with sand pits, a seaside style peep-board, craft workshop and stilt walking band. Clare Andrew, managing director at Shoppertainment, emphasises the potential impact of a family friendly event in driving up the all-important dwell time, saying: “All the events were incredibly popular with families, with a lot of them saying more events like this need to happen, especially during school holidays.” OCTOBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 17


FLY ME TO THE MOON Children flocked from across London to the Kids on the Moon event at The Glades


aSalle-owned shopping centre The Glades brought the hugely successful Kids on the Moon space experience to Bromley, becoming the first centre in the UK to host the internationally-renowned interactive exhibit. The month-long event – which had six tours a day from Tuesday to Sunday – has been touring shopping centres across the world, including malls in Brazil, Italy, Lithuania and Serbia, for more than a decade. Working with its integrated marketing agency Bewonder, LaSalle Investment Management decided to bring it to Bromley as part of its efforts to cement The Glades’ position as the town’s premier retail and food destination for families, following its purchase of the former intu Bromley last year. It has already launched a Little Explorers Kids’ Club and refurbished the soft play area and an outdoor playground. The free, ticketed space exploration event touched down in The Glades mall on 2 August, where it was based for four weeks. Targeted at six-to-10-year-olds, Kids On The Moon saw more than 5,470 bookings, enabling those curious about the moon and the history of space travel to embark on a 40-minute interactive, fun and educational adventure – complete with an impressive shuttle set. This was augmented by a number of exhibitions, which included a replica Hubble telescope, an interactive solar


system, a photography exhibit of prominent astronauts, lunar vehicles and a space suit collection – for all shoppers to browse. LaSalle associate director Ben Notley was thrilled that the event had proven such a hit with shoppers, their children and retailers alike. “More than 700,000 children have participated globally, so when the opportunity arose for The Glades to be the first UK venue to welcome the event, we knew it would be the summer activity for the region,” he says. “Tickets sold out very quickly, which is testament to Kids on the Moon’s undeniably brilliant concept – nobody wanted to miss out,” he continues. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to bring the event to UK soil and it’s a thrill to know thousands of children and their families have something special to remember for years to come.” This is echoed by The Glades general manager, Kate Miller, who says the summer’s activity programme has been by far the scheme’s most successful event for children to date. “All of our ticketed slots were fully booked, and the response from everyone at the centre was just out of this world,” she says. “It was particularly gratifying that the event was popular with both girls and boys, as diversity of appeal was something we had set out to accomplish.” Because of the lack of female representation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) fields is


currently high on many agendas across the globe, Miller had hoped the event would present science and space to both genders in a refreshing way. “We made a conscious decision to choose a girl to be the model featured on promotional material,” she says, “and we received so much fantastic feedback from parents of attendees who commented that it was a very welcoming environment for their own girls.” As well as being targeted at boys and girls alike, the event was accessible and inclusive to those with a variety of needs. Private tours were organised for local charities such as the Orpington-based Children on the Autistic Spectrum Parents Association (CASPA), while children from The Glades’ charity of the year, The Chartwell Cancer Trust’s Bromley Childhood Cancer Support Group (BCCSG) – who had completed or were undergoing cancer treatment – and their siblings, also enjoyed a space-centric day out. Kids On The Moon also received a seal of approval from the European Space Agency (ESA) – which counts Tim Peake as one of its astronauts – with recent International Space University alumna Bethany Downer from the ESA’s communication department spending a day at the event, teaching 200 children about the agency’s space activity and answering their questions. Miller says: “This was an incredibly rare opportunity for local children to learn from, and have all their space-related questions answered by, a representative from a world-leading space organisation. This was unprecedented for Bromley and the perfect way to mark the first time Kids On The Moon had been brought to the UK. “We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to bring such an

authority to our centre, and create incredible memories for our young visitors,” she says. LaSalle’s Notley says the event met all of his marketing aims. “Obviously the aim of any event is to drive footfall to a scheme, stimulate interest in our offering and promote dwell time and ultimately spend,” he says. “This event managed to tick every box, bringing a coveted event to The Glades which was not only wildly popular, but also one which by its nature increased dwell time and gave shoppers the opportunity to spend a length of time shopping without their children during the school holidays. “Providing a high-quality programme of events that families with young children can enjoy is something that we are continually exploring and developing for all our centres, and for this project we worked very closely with our integrated marketing agency, Bewonder,” he explains. “We wanted a summer activity that would be different to anything we’ve ever offered before, but would create excitement and ultimately pique the interest of both boys and girls in equal measure – and Bewonder hit the nail on the head with Kids On The Moon.” And at a local level the general manager believes the event will forever be linked positively to children’s experience and perception of The Glades. “We’re proud that we’ve set the bar this high in creating stand-out shopping centre entertainment that people of all ages, walks of life and abilities can take part in,” she says. “I’d like to express my gratitude to the whole team at The Glades for the smooth delivery and running of the event, and special thanks to Bewonder for making it all happen – it has been a wonderful success.” OCTOBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 19


KEYS TO THE CASTLE Jonathan Corish recently took the reins at Savills as commercialisation manager. Iain Hoey sat down with him to discuss his new role and what he’s going to bring to the world of shopping centre commercialisation.


ix years at retail commercialisation specialist SpaceandPeople as a venue development manager, spent creating a UK-wide remit rolling out commercial strategies on behalf of clients gave Corish the perfect credentials to become the newly appointed commercialisation manager at Savills. The position in the property firm’s management team was newly created as part of Savills portfolio-wide strategy in a bid to enhance client services and set itself apart from its competitors.

HOW HAS THE TRANSITION BEEN INTO YOUR NEW ROLE? It was an easy transition because I feel like I’ve got a really good understanding of mall commercialisation. What is different is being client side. That was a bit of a wake-up to be honest – we used to complain about how long it took to get decisions made by landlords and by managing agents, but you can see 20 | SHOPPING CENTRE OCTOBER 2017

why you need to have all your ducks in a row to be able to make the decision. That’s why I’m here – to help make that continuity between what they’re trying to achieve and what they are achieving. It’s just making sure both bits fit together.

IT MUST BE GRATIFYING TO HAVE BEEN CHOSEN FOR SUCH AN IMPORTANT NEW ROLE IN SUCH A LARGE COMPANY. HOW DID IT COME ABOUT? It seemed like natural progression. When I applied for this job I said I’m not going to come in and quote you a figure that I can increase your income by, I’m not going to tell you that you’re doing it wrong or you’re doing it right, no one will ever know until they get in there and get their feet under the table and understand what this job is all about. The word that is overused all the time is ‘strategy’, but it’s overused for a reason. You don’t want the same thing there

Jonathan Corish is commercialisation manager at Savills


Digital technologies like rotational screens and outdoor advertising on the sides of shopping malls are becoming more and more prevalent a community-level mall that gets 90,000 people, whereas you will them in one that gets 300,000 people. The problem is that in a mall that has 300,000 people, it takes at least a week to get anything approved – the turnaround time is a lot more difficult. But what you come to realise is that yes, smaller malls don’t get the big trophy things, and big malls might not get the same number of things, but once you marry those two up and realise that’s the case you start to have a kind of blueprint that you can follow. It’s just trying to figure that out. Each year it changes, different trends come out and there’s a bit of adaptation necessary.


every single week just because it looks good and brings in good income – people get bored of it and the novelty wears off for the brands. You’ve got to think ‘how will this work best’ and keep people interested so it doesn’t just become something that’s anonymous on the mall.

YOUR POSITION MEANS YOU’LL BE WORKING ACROSS EVERY TIER OF MALL, FROM DESTINATION AND MIDMARKET TO COMMUNITY BASED MALLS. WOULD YOU SAY THERE IS MUCH DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM IN TERMS OF COMMERCIALISATION STRATEGY? Yes and no. I’d like to get to a blueprint that you could use, but obviously one size doesn’t fit all because landlords have different ideas and different aspirations, but a lot of the principles are the same. You’re not going to get Maserati on

Digital technologies like rotational screens and outdoor advertising on the sides of shopping malls are becoming more and more prevalent, because things like movies are relying on the advertising space. A lot more cinemas and restaurants and family areas are arriving in shopping malls, so if you’ve got a big family film like Despicable Me 3 coming out then there’s going to be a campaign built around it in malls, and digital panels are a perfect way to communicate that.

ARE FAMILIES A BIG MARKET IN COMMERCIALISATION? Absolutely. Families are the future of commercialisation. Having a young family with a baby and a toddler going to a shopping mall can be a great way of spending your day, but as any parent will know, if the child decides to act up or if they get bored and fed up, it can really turn into a horrible experience, so you need something that can occupy a child. If you’re a promoter, you should be thinking: “How can I have a more interactive promotion that provides experience as well as getting the message we want out there?” The best thing you can do is create something that engages a child as a side to your main promotion, and can keep their attention for ten minutes. It’s about breaking up that journey through the mall and also, as you walk into the mall, it makes the mall look good. OCTOBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 21


ARE THERE THINGS YOU THINK MALLS COULD BE DOING BETTER WHEN IT COMES TO COMMERCIALISATION? There needs to be a lot more of promotion outdoors for the thing you’re promoting indoors. For a lot of malls, there are bound to be people passing who wouldn’t otherwise have gone in, but using the outside space that’s available to advertise what’s inside plays to everyone’s favour. What I really want to do is promote mall promotions and commercialisation itself at a landlord level so more people will invest in it and use mall strategy because it can add so much more than just the money it brings in and the experience. It creates value to the mall itself as much as any retailer. The people promoting in malls tend to be the same people who are always promoting in malls, they understand how to use that space as effectively as possible and the fact they're still there shows that it can work. It’s rare that you see someone disrupt that, I’d say Krispy Kreme in recent years, but you can count them on one hand. The ones who do it, do it because they know it works, and you’ve got to realise that these people do keep doing it because it works therefore it can work for you as well. I’m a big believer in looking at something and trying it out before deciding it’s not right for your business and if it works it works and if


it doesn’t that’s fine because at least now you know. There’s just so much opportunity out there.

SO IT’S A CASE OF TRIAL AND ERROR? Absolutely. I want to raise awareness about the importance of a good commercialisation strategy to your mall. Lots of malls do it really, really well and it’s not to say that one does it better than another, it’s just trying to get that continuity in and treat it like you’re treating your anchor stores because it is as important as they are. It’s the most visible thing in the mall. If you can get it right, and you have a blueprint that works that has 70 per cent of things tied up that you’re happy with the other 30 per cent can be transitional and you can move things about and experiment with it. Commercialisation is a very important aspect of running a shopping mall. One report that I found shows that in 2001, the revenue generated by shopping mall commercialisation was £10m across the UK. In 2013, the most recent report, it was estimated at around £200m. And that’s probably running at less than 50 per cent occupancy. If you think about all that space that remains empty and you can find a way to use that space and generate income from it then the possibilities are endless. It really is an open book.

The people promoting in malls tend to be the same people who are always promoting in malls


PRIVATE SCREENING intu has teamed up with out-of-home media owner Ocean Outdoor in Nottingham to launch a digital advertising screen that will engage shoppers with content tailored to their consumer profile.


he Nottingham One screen at the entrance to intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham will be the largest digital screen in the east midlands region, and at 11.52m wide by 7.68m high it will be around the height of a two-storey building. And it will use innovative audience recognition cameras to identify someone’s age, gender and even their emotions so that it can display the adverts most likely to entertain them. intu and Ocean Outdoor’s partnership will expand Ocean’s footprint to 10 cities across the UK and support intu’s strategy to deliver compelling experiences across its portfolio of the UK’s most popular shopping and leisure destinations. Roger Binks, customer experience director at intu, says: “This new screen at the entrance to intu Victoria Centre makes use of innovative technology and a high footfall location to target shoppers already in a buying mind-set with the most engaging content. It’s the latest example of

how intu is taking advantage of the newest technology and great partnerships to create compelling experiences that will make our customers smile.” Richard Malton, Ocean marketing director, adds: “Nottingham is the UK’s seventh – biggest retail centre so our partnership with intu to launch Nottingham One gives Ocean a premium digital out of home presence in all top seven UK cities. “There’s currently a lack of external out of home options in Nottingham and the launch of Nottingham One at intu Victoria Centre fills that void, offering brands access to the east midlands’ most affluent and highest spending shoppers at the city’s most visited retail destination. And as Nottingham has the UK’s fourth-youngest population, there is also a significant number of younger mobile audiences in the city thanks to its vast student population and high proportion of 16-44 year-old residents.” OCTOBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 23


VENDING FOR CHARITY CharityPodz allows children to use their pocket money to purchase a collectable toy from specially designed vending machines




harityPodz has started a national rollout following a successful pilot programme of its fundraising concept which has seen the installation of over 300 machines into retail outlets across the country. For every toy purchased, a donation is made to the retailer’s chosen charity and credited directly into the charity bank account, cutting out any admin costs for staff to process payments. The machines are branded with the chosen charity’s logo, which serves as effective in-store promotion, while all installation and maintenance is carried out by CharityPodz to ensure no burden on the retailer. The Children’s Hospital Charity was the first charity to sign up to the concept in 2016. Retail brand Matalan is one of the first retailers to install the CharityPodz machines in its stores and is currently using them to raise money for national charities NSPCC and Alder Hey. Parents and children purchasing the toys are encouraged to make the link between buying something for their own joy and sharing goodwill to someone else through the transaction. CharityPodz the industry leader is defining a new category of charity toy vending, which meets many of the CSR targets that major retailers must hit through store level staff and customer fundraising initiatives. Launched in 2017, CharityPodz is a new charity concept based on vending machines where for each toy bought, a proportion of the money goes to charitable causes. It was the brainchild of entrepreneur Adam Abrams, an extension of his commercial vending machine business Perform 365. As well as the positive outcome of donating money to charity, a strength of CharityPodz is that it acts as a simple and easy aid to companies wanting to boost their CSR and charitable giving. All they need to do is install the machines on site and choose their recipient charity. Participating charities currently include NSPCC, The Children’s Hospital Charity and Alder Hey Children’s Charity. Founder and chief executive Adam Abrams explains: “Our mission is to share the magic of play to make lives better. The concept offers a new and original channel for charitable giving within retail environments. It’s a sustainable fundraising model which is a step on from the collection box style of raising money. “Our three-year plan is to establish this new category in CSR fundraising at a worth of over £3m in annual donations to UK charities. We want to be working with the leading national UK charities alongside big retail networks to achieve our targets. It’s a win-win for both businesses and charities and delivers great fun for kids and their parents.”





BUILDING ON A BUDGET Attention to design can give a boost to kiosk operators in midmarket centres


iosk units are a staple of shopping centre commercialisation, but their small size and positioning in the most prominent sites in the mall leave them open to wear and tear on all sides. Money spent on maintenance is important to ensure kiosks are both presentable and successful businesses for operators. Unlike their in-line counterparts, however, it can be difficult to justify investing in something that won’t carry the same kind of longevity and so the return on investment might look a long way off. But this need not be the case. “Many kiosk retailers know they need to do something but they don’t have the capital,” says Annabel Ling, senior account manager at commercialisation agency Forum Centrespace. “So we work with them to show them that you don’t need a big budget to make a difference. In some cases it’s literally been a matter of taking them to Ikea to get a new kiosk unit and often it’s better than the things they already have.” Ling says that a little help and guidance can go a long way to creating a successful business, all that might be necessary is some encouragement and assistance to help create a fresh, well marketed unit and increase turnover. “A lot of these people are traders, not designers, so we help out with how they market themselves,” Ling says. “We can even help with things like drawing up ideas for vinyls that they can use, and basic decorations like lights and signage. It can make a huge difference and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. One trader reported a 30 per cent uplift after the launch of their new budget unit. “From that point it’s a stepping stone that they can build

on that they might not have had with their existing unit. It’s a stop gap until they can afford a bigger budget and get a better unit. Not everyone has the capital to make changes overnight, but we believe in nurturing the existing tenants and giving them as much help as we can.” What it comes down to is management. There is always going to be space to fill but many potential retailers might have a good idea and a good product, but without the proper platform and a little expert guidance and input, a potential kiosk operator might be tentative to take the step into the mall hallways. “A lot of potential operators are hesitant to take on a unit space because they don’t know the first thing about it,” says Ling, “but that’s where commercialisation management comes in. It’s about helping them the whole way.” The advice is practicable at all levels of mall, from destination centres and every tier below. The key is making sure the easily-movable tenants who may not have the business and marketing expertise of fixed-unit retailers are given that little extra assistance, as after all they are in the most prominent position in the mall and can leave a lasting impression on a shopper. A poorly maintained kiosk can signify a poorly maintained centre. “We work with every tier in the market, and we’re finding that the mid-market centres are the ones that can most benefit from a better use of their commercialisation space. It’s an integral part of the mall and we’ve had some of our clients coming to us and saying it’s one of the biggest footfall drivers for their centre ahead of some of their biggest retailers, so it’s a fundamental thing to get right,” Ling concludes.








ELLANDI LEDS THE WAY Ellandi lights the way to a greener future by relamping two of its community malls


he operation of shopping centres consumes a lot of electricity, but by working with specialist sustainability advisor Co2 Target, community shopping centre investor Ellandi has managed to reduce its CO2 footprint with cumulative electricity consumption reduced by 2.2 million Kwh across its portfolio, improving the mall environment for shoppers and saving money for its retail occupiers. At the Marlands shopping centre in Southampton, the mall lighting was no longer fit for purpose and provided a weakly lit shopping experience for the 6 million people that shop there each year. Co2 Target worked with Ellandi to identify changes that could be made using LED bulbs which consume 90 per cent less energy and have a lifespan 40 times that of non LEDs. There were 705 luminaires replaced in the project, 149 of which were emergency lights. To help with the speed of the installation and reduce landfill, the existing wiring was used. David Geddes of Co2 Target explains: “The new LED’s were installed alongside automated emergency lighting as well as a wireless control system using occupancy and daylight sensors. The overall project delivered financial savings to retailers through significant reductions to electricity costs and facilities management savings. In addition, the quality of the mall lighting was improved delivering a better experience for shoppers.” Similarly, Ellandi’s work with Co2 Target at the Strand shopping centre, Bootle saw the complete replacement of lighting in the 560 - space multi storey car park. There was an old, ineffective PIR system that operated banks of lights across the car park which in some instances did not operate and where it did, turned on more lights than required, resulting in more energy being used than necessary. The project delivered large energy savings, as well as enhancing the car park to become a brighter, safer environment for shoppers. The solution incorporated the use of daylight on the roof level of the car park, using daylight-harvesting technology. The solution was to replace all lights including the emergen28 | SHOPPING CENTRE OCTOBER 2017

cy lights, with modern LED luminaires that incorporated wireless controls and self-test, automated emergency lighting. The annual energy spend of the old lights was £69,000 and the annual facility spend to maintain the car park lighting was £7,500. The total energy and facilities management saving was £70,000 pa providing a return on investment for the investor of just under three years. Jonathan Robson, asset management director at Ellandi, comments: “As a major landlord, we recognise our responsibility to do all we can to assist in reducing the Co2 footprint of the centres we manage. These two case studies at Bootle and Southampton are among many that demonstrate our continued proactive approach to sustainability across our portfolio that enables us to reduce energy costs for our retailers as well as deliver an improved experience for our shoppers – a genuine win-win all round.” The growing importance of Building Information Modelling (BIM) means that energy will become an integral component of the way buildings are designed, constructed and used. Co2 Target is an energy management company that was established to provide organisations in all sectors with the specialist knowledge and expert help needed to minimise energy consumption and costs.


BEACONS OF CHANGE The CommONEnergy project will change shopping centres into lighthouses of energy efficiency and sustainable architecture


hopping centres are among the biggest consumers of energy of all commercial property types, and therefore adopting sustainable practices and technologies can potentially deliver big wins. With this in mind 23 organisations from across nine European countries came together in 2013 to launch the CommONEnergy (COE) project, a four-year programme financed by the European Union to focus on shopping centre renovation and redesign, in a bid to provide practical support to transform shopping centres into beacons of sustainability and energy efficiency. The shopping centre sector is particularly suitable for this approach because not only do they run up big energy bills, but shopping centres also tend to be refurbished more frequently than other building types. COE estimates 4.4 per cent of the shopping centre building stock is refurbished every year, representing a unique trigger point to realise sustainable energy-saving solutions alongside planned aesthetic renovations. By 2030 more than 60 per cent of Europe’s shopping centre building stock will have been upgraded. The main objective of the project has been to help enhance malls’ overall sustainability as well as changing public perception of them and enhancing the customer experience through improved environmental quality. According to project co-ordinator Roberto Lollini, researcher at EURAC Research in Bolzano, Italy, the programme’s focus on practical solutions has allowed it to reduce the gap between predicted and actual performance of energy efficiency measures. Renovation in shopping centres is something that tends to happen in a series of small-scale operations, fixing parts of the whole by simple replacement rather than by reimagining the whole centre. COE developed a number of workable solutions for retrofitting energy-efficient technologies as well as developing tools and methods for evaluating energy consumption; environmental, social and cultural impacts, as well as health and comfort. The project studied a number of European shopping centres, looking at their architecture and construction, energy systems, layout and their urban, social and econom-

ic context and, most importantly, their interactions with the surrounding energy grids. COE determined the main inefficiencies of shopping centre energy management and maintenance and highlighted the influence of stakeholders on energy performance. The study identified retrofitting new technologies as the most promising solution from a cost-benefit point of view.

THE KEY TRENDS IT IDENTIFIED SO FAR ARE: • The physical structure of shopping centres is in a state of constant evolution due to the changing requirements of the retail trade • Energy retrofitting must be approached sensitively bearing in mind retail is in a state of constant flux • Two opposing trends are at play: consumers are favouring smaller-size centres, moving back towards the city centre. But at the same time they demand leisure and pleasure functions which tend to increase the size and complexity of centres • Green retail is becoming more widely appealing, mainly connected to organic food and sustainable architecture, potentially attracting new kinds of customers • Awareness and knowledge (needing reliable data to be turned into information) is the first and cheapest driver of renovation activities. Part of the research from COE aimed to improve the internal comfort of shopping mall environments. The study examined ventilation and cooling strategies; integrating greenery into buildings to improve wellbeing; using smart coating materials to increase energy efficiency; increasing the use of natural lighting for mall spaces and improving indoor acoustics to absorb soundwaves. Shopping centres stand at the forefront of consumer consciousness and are well positioned to become examples of sustainability and wellbeing. As the CommONEnergy programme draws to a close, its research will continue to provide a blueprint for them to fulfil these roles. OCTOBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 29


Out-of-town voids continue to fall According to research by Trevor Wood Associates, retail warehousing vacancy rates remain on a downward spiral. The UK’s mid-year retail warehousing vacancy rate stood at 5.1 per cent, falling from 5.3 per cent at the end of 2016 and down substantially on the peak of 10.0 per cent in mid-2013. And with more than 1m sq ft of retail warehouse space currently under offer, Trevor Wood predicts the end-year vacancy figures will fall yet further.

TWA’s findings suggest the retail warehousing market remains resilient despite challenging conditions since January 2016 that have seen brands including Bhs, Brantano and 99p Stores entering administration or launching CVAs. At the same time the likes of B&Q and Currys/PC World have downsized their property holdings. The researchers estimate this could have brought up to 2m sq ft of space on to the market, yet take up of space has kept the vacancy rate in check. In terms of geographical trends, retail warehous-

ing vacancy rates in the first half of 2017 reduced in all but three regions – the North was unchanged, while the South West and Yorkshire & Humberside saw rates rise slightly, largely as a result of Brantano going into administration. Trevor Wood said: “The retail warehousing market has reacted well to changes over the past few years. We are optimistic that the year-end figures will show further falls across the board and that this trend may well continue into 2018.”

Retail sales rebound Retail sales volumes grew at the fastest pace for two years in the year to September following a decline in the previous month’s figures, according to the latest CBI Distributive Trades Survey. The survey found that sales for the time of year were considered to be slightly above seasonal norms. Against expectations, 56 per cent of retailers said that sales volumes were up in September compared with a year ago, while 15 per cent said they were down, giving the highest positive balance since September 2015. And 37 per cent of respondents 30 | SHOPPING CENTRE OCTOBER 2017

expect sales volumes to increase next month, with only 14 per cent expecting a decrease Meanwhile, orders placed with suppliers also rose in the year to September, also rebounding from a fall in the previous month. Retailers expect continued growth in both sales and orders in the year to October, albeit at a slower pace. Growth in internet sales volumes rose in the year to September, to slightly above the long-run average, but are expected to expand at a somewhat slower pace in October. Within the retail sector, the main drivers of growth

in overall volumes were the grocery and clothing sectors. Retailers of furniture & carpets, specialist food & drink stores and sellers of recreational goods reported falling sales volumes over the year to September. Anna Leach, the CBI’s head of economic intelligence, said: “It’s encouraging to see some vigour returning to the retail sector in September, with sales growth picking up from August and consumer demand expected to hold up reasonably well next month. But inflation continues to squeeze household budgets, and with the pressure on incomes set to persist, retailers will continue to face a challenging environment.


Sharp slowdown in shop openings The latest bulletin from the Local Data Company shows that the second quarter of 2017 saw the number of shop openings reduce by 84 per cent compared to Q2 2016. The impact of this slowdown in openings resulted in a net loss of -69 shops in the second quarter versus a net increase of +428 in the first quarter of the year. This is the biggest fall between any two consecutive quarters in the past five years.

As a result of this slowdown the shop vacancy rate started to rise in the second quarter of 2017. It rose in both May and June to reach 12.2 per cent by the end of the quarter. This, however, is still significantly below the 2012 peak of 14.6 per cent. LDC director Matthew Hopkinson said: “There was a striking turnaround in the second quarter of 2017, especially when compared to the trends of 2016, in the number of shop openings. The impact of Brexit

is clear with Q2 showing a net loss of nearly 500 shops versus positive growth in the previous quarter. “Not only has the trend turned negative with more closures than openings but the volume of activity has also dropped by 25 per cent. While the numbers are currently small relative to the total number of shops, the vacancy rate in Q2 started to rise and is likely to continue to do so if the current uncertainty continues.”

Independent retailer profile – Bubble Tea Two friends have taken their first dip into the world of mall retail and launched a bubble tea kiosk at the Pentagon shopping centre in Chatham. Former dental nurse Nirmita Budathoki and carer Nikeeta Rai had been friends for seven years when they decided to go into business together this summer. With nowhere locally offering the popular drink, they saw a gap in the market and decided that the popular bubble tea from Asia would be a welcome addition at their local

shopping centre in Chatham. The drink – featuring small balls of tapioca – is trending on Instagram and extremely popular among teenagers. With Kent University and Mid Kent College close by, the entrepreneurs believed the Pentagon was the ideal location for their new venture so they contacted Space to trade and secured a spot on the mall in June. After support and a little handholding from Tina Shah, commercial director at Space to trade, they hosted their launch at the Pentagon within just

eight weeks. The launch in September saw a lot of interested customers and sampling created quite a buzz on the mall. They managed to sell over 300 cups on their first day. Nirmita Budathoki said: “Space to trade has been very supportive in helping us to launch our business. The team were on hand to help and advise us with everything from power supply, designing our promotional posters, right down to being there for the installation late into a Friday evening and spurring us on at our launch event.”







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Time for managers to embrace proptech

New technology has the potential to change the manager’s role, says Stephen Toal Retail is changing at an unprecedented pace. The rise of online shopping has been a key driver, yet the desire to touch and feel products before purchase means physical stores continue to play an integral role. While consumers may shop online for convenience, they look to shopping centres and other retail destinations for ‘experiences’, such as diverse food & beverage and leisure offers, access to new brands via pop-up shops or the use of augmented reality and other new technologies in store. For retail landlords, technological innovations are enhancing the all-important customer experience, increasing dwell time and, crucially, encouraging consumers to return. One example is smart parking concepts, which use cameras with licence-plate recognition to remove the need for a ticket or onsite payment. Shoppers can simply drive in, drive out and have their card billed directly, followed up with an email receipt. Technology is also helping landlords to better understand shopper behaviour at both a macro and micro level. New GPS tracking systems gather anonymous data from mobile phones, providing information about the frequency of trips, shopper flow, dwell time and retailers’ individual share of visits. For landlords, this can provide vital insight into how space within schemes can be used more effectively. Individual retailers, meanwhile, can use the data for insight into their key shopper profile and develop strategies to boost performance. In the current security-conscious climate, the 34 | SHOPPING CENTRE OCTOBER 2017

development of 360-degree CCTV – providing panoramic views and infrared monitoring – can both improve security at retail schemes and act as a useful footfall counting solution. Other innovations include tiny body cameras placed discreetly in or on security staff’s clothing, which are used as a mobile monitoring system and can help provide video evidence as well as defuse critical security situations. The importance of digital placemaking in retail has also increased as high-quality internet and mobile access is now the expected norm. Commercial real estate rating systems that empower landlords to understand, improve and promote their building’s digital infrastructure, are already established in the offices sector and we could start to see similar systems introduced in retail. In the residential property management sector, robotics and artificial intelligence systems are already being used to proactively 'learn' when critical instances are likely to occur and react to situations by informing the relevant parties. Again, we could begin to see retail landlords introduce robotics in similar ways over the next few years. While it is early days for many of these initiatives to be actually introduced at shopping destinations, what’s certain is that the future of retail property management is one on which it is intrinsically linked with technology. Stephen Toal is director of property management research at Savills


On your bike Security staff at the intu Braehead shopping mall and leisure destination near Glasgow have started patrolling on bikes. The scheme is thought is the first in the UK to equip its staff with bicycles to help them get around its car parks, riverside boardwalk and pathways. Security staff, Willie Carmichael and Mohammed Aswar have now completed a training course on patrolling on bicycles, with tuition from an expert with the government-backed Cycling Scotland charity. The idea for the cycle patrols around the shopping centre and the nearby

Soar leisure destination came from intu Braehead’s operations manager, Paul Lucas. “We are a 300-acre site and there’s a very large outside area we are responsible for,” he explained. “We thought having some of our security staff on mountain bikes would be a good way of covering such a large area in a quick and environmentally friendly way.” He added: “It also gives the public a reassurance that there’s help at hand no matter if they are inside or outside intu Braehead. Initially, we have purchased two bikes, but if required and if the initiative is successful, we can have more available for our staff to use.”

This month’s moves . . . BRUNTWOOD has recruited ANDREA GEORGE as head of retail and leisure leasing. She was previously commercial director at Allied London and prior to that was a partner at Tushingham Moore and Knight Frank. KAREN STANIFORTH, marketing manager at FRENCHGATE shopping centre in Doncaster as been promoted to assistant general manager. In her marketing role she has overseen a range of cultural events and exhibitions, as well as digitally-led creative campaigns. DANSFIELD PROPERTIES has appointed JOEL PLUMLEY as centre manager at Morpeth’s Sanderson Arcade. With a background in customer service and security, he has been promoted to the role from the arcade’s sister site, Lime Square in east Manchester. CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD has appointed RHODA JOSEPH as general manager at the 450,000- sq ft Grand Arcade shopping centre in Cambridge. She previously held centre manager and centre director positions for JLL and CIN Properties at shopping centres in West Bromwich, Oxford, Washington DC, Fareham and Portsmouth. RICHARD SCHARENGUIVEL has been appointed by CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD as centre manager at Benson Elliot’s Mander centre in Wolverhampton. He joins from the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham where he spent 10 years as deputy general manager. KLM RETAIL has launched an out of town retail and leisure division led by Will Andrews, Jonny Perkins and Mark Smith.

Queensgate ahoy Staff at the Queensgate shopping centre in Peterborough have, for the fourth year in a row, donated their time to support Peterborough-based charity Sailability throughout April to September and have clocked up 500 hours at the beautiful Ferry Meadows, assisting sailors with togging up, preparing the boats for launch and helping the boats back onto dry land. Peterborough Sailability can see in the region of 150 disabled people sailing each day so the role of volunteers

is vital to the safe and smooth running of the day’s events and Queensgate shopping centre is the largest organisation to provide voluntary support. Queensgate environmental manager Carol Wakelin said:, “We are thrilled to be able to support disabled sailing in Peterborough again and the staff have been brilliant with offering hours to take part. Sailability provides an important resource for people with disabilities and is run solely on volunteers so we wanted to roll up our sleeves and do our bit.”

WILL ANDREWS led the out of town retail and leisure team at JLL for ten years and before that he was an equity partner at King Sturge. JONNY PERKINS led the retail warehouse investment team at JLL prior to joining KLM and MARK SMITH previously headed the restaurant & leisure group at JLL. HANOVER GREEN RETAIL has appointed LAURA THURSFIELD as an associate to provide Central London retail agency advice. She joins from Cushman & Wakefield and has spent the last nine years advising London’s major landlords including Shaftesbury, The Crown Estate, The Mercers’ Company, Tribeca Holdings, Argent and Great Portland Estates. ADRIAN BARLOW has joined as national law firm IRWIN MITCHELL as head of real estate. He joins from Pinsent Mason where he was a partner and led the firm’s property group from 2004 to 2016



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Shopping Centre Magazine - October 2017 issue  
Shopping Centre Magazine - October 2017 issue