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SHOPPINGCENTRE The business of retail destinations

December 2017 • £8.00

Borough Yards scheme unveiled Meyer Bergman begins leasing on South Bank development

16 2018 Preview What does 2018 have in store for malls?

19 Parking Westgate Oxford showcases latest in car park design

30 Tech Landsec trials shopper portal at Bluewater

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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. Shopping Centre is available on subscription. UK & Ireland £96; Overseas £150.

The hysteria around Black Friday and Cyber Monday appears to have subsided as quickly as it arose a few years ago. Retailers have realised that condensing

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ensuring that malls run smoothly and nothing gets in the way of the shopping experience. In this issue we’re already looking beyond Christmas into 2018 and the outlook is uncertain at best with retailers likely to struggle in the short term. But for now let’s concentrate on making Christmas 2017 as happy and successful as we can.. Graham Parker Editor Shopping Centre

CONTENTS NEWS & ANALYSIS 04 05 06 08 11 12 13

Croydon Whitgift redevelopment approved Crown Estate to buy future phases of Rushden Lakes Intu sells Norwich stake Wonder Weekend for Trinity Leeds Meyer Bergman unveils Borough Yards Westfield Stratford still top of the shops Supermalls outperform

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Shopping Centre is published monthly. ISSN 0964-1793 | Printed by Stephens & George Ltd

sales around one particular weekend brings logistical problems as well as the potential for reputational damage. And centre managers will have been relieved not to have customers fighting in the malls over a 42-inch TV. However the events did have the merit of injecting some momentum into the Christmas shopping surge. The challenge now is to create that sense of excitement, albeit in a more measured way. And that’s where centre management teams have a key role to play,


2018 Preview – What does 2018 have in store for the shopping centre sector? Shopping Centre Parking – Westgate Oxford showcases the latest in car park design and technology Technology – Landsec trials shopper portal at Bluewater ahead of nationwide roll-out

REGULARS 32 34 38 39

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Data – Retail facts & figures Soapbox – Tech holds the key to enhancing loyalty People – Feast of Fire in Milton Keynes Moves – All the latest job moves

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Croydon Whitgift redevelopment approved The London Borough of Croydon has approved upgraded plans for the £1.4 bn redevelopment of the Whitgift centre in Croydon, South London. The Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson, had lodged a revised planning application for the redevelopment of the 1960s scheme. The amendments boosted the residential element to almost 1,000 new homes and added a third trading level and a new purpose-built anchor store for Marks & Spencer to create over 1.5m sq ft of retail and leisure floorspace. The council’s resolution to grant consent represents a significant step forward for the partnership’s plans to regenerate Croydon’s retail town centre. The partnership is now working towards an earliest commencement of full construction on site in 2019, allowing the Whitgift centre to continue trading through the important 2018 Christmas period. Peter Cole, Hammerson’s chief investment officer, said: “Our goal remains to deliver a world-class retail and leisure destination to attract new visitors to

Croydon and enhance economic growth in the town. We are pleased with the level of retail demand which has driven the evolution of the design and layout of

the new scheme, and we look forward to progressing our plans and transforming Croydon into one of the UK’s top 10 retail and leisure destinations.”

Budget brings relief for beleaguered ratepayers

Three top brands boost intu Lakeside’s retail offer Three big brands have agreed terms to join intu Lakeside’s aspirational retail mix. British lifestyle brand Cath Kidston has opened a new 1,492-sq ft store in the run-up to Christmas and Italian hoisery retailer Calzedonia and lingerie brand Intimissimi are due to arrive next summer in a dual-fronted store of 1,606 sq ft. A number of high-end retailers including Hugo Boss, Mac and Victoria’s Secret are already in place at the centre and intu is expanding its offer by creating 175,000 sq ft of extra space for incoming leisure brands like Nickelodeon and Hollywood Bowl as well as 11 new restaurants. Rebecca Ryman, regional managing director at intu, said: “We’re strength4 | SHOPPING CENTRE DECEMBER 2017

ening intu Lakeside’s quality shopping experience with a number of exciting brands signing up for new or extra space, and the opening of intu Lake-

side’s complementary leisure offer next year will provide more places for shoppers to dine and play as part of their visit with us.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond had two welcome surprises for beleaguered business rates payers in his 2017 budget, according to Paul Easton, national head of business rates at Lambert Smith Hampton. Responding to widespread criticism since the September announcement that 2018 business rates would rise by 3.85 per cent, Hammond has brought forward the change from RPI indexation to CPI by two years, to 1 April 2018.. Easton explained: “Instead of an increase of 3.85 per cent from 1 April 2018, the multiplier will now increase by 3 per cent, effectively saving ratepayers £2.3bn.” At the same time Hammond announced more frequent rates revaluations. Business rate revaluations have taken place every five years since 1990, with the exception of the 2010 revaluation, which was extended to seven years. From 2022, revaluations will take place every three years. “The change was called for by many business ratepayers and their advisors and is to be welcomed,” said Easton.


Crown Estate to buy future phases of Rushden Lakes The Crown Estate has confirmed the unconditional purchase of three further phases totalling 215,000 sq ft at Rushden Lakes from developer LXB Retail Properties. The new phases will bring the total size of Rushden Lakes to more than 445,000 sq ft. LXB is already on site with the future phases, with stores expected to start opening in 2019. Phase two will see the creation of a new leisure development, offering more than 150,000 sq ft of space, with 11 restaurants, a 14-screen multiplex cinema from Cineworld, and five leisure units with Rock Up, the climbing and adventure centre, the latest to confirm its space. In phases three and four an addi-

tional 65,000 sq ft of retail space will be added across two developments, and Wren Kitchens has confirmed a new 12,000-sq ft store. Additional new stores confirmed for phase one of Rushden Lakes include Jack Wills, Superdry and Card Factory. Hannah Milne, director of regional retail at the Crown Estate, said: “Rushden Lakes is the first destination of its kind. This innovative new centre has proven incredibly popular with shoppers and we are delighted to be furthering our investment. Future phases of Rushden Lakes will continue to transform customer and shopper expectations, and set the standard for other destinations to aspire to.”

Council bids to buy Banbury scheme Cherwell District Council has taken a key stake in the future regeneration of Banbury town centre by offering to purchase Castle Quay shopping centre and deliver the planned CQ2 development. The council stepped in after the developer, Aberdeen Standard Investments, shelved plans to develop a new cinema, supermarket, hotel and restaurants as part of the CQ2 scheme. Cllr Tony Ilott, Cherwell’s lead member for finance, said: “The new development at Castle Quay has been highly

ipated and if not delivered would be a massive blow to residents and businesses. We have therefore taken the decision to proactively explore all possible options to secure the future of this development. Cherwell currently has a 15 per cent stake in Castle Quay but would look to increase that to 100 per cent if the deal was to proceed. As part of its business plan, Cherwell would review the current design of Castle Quay to front it towards the canal and consider increasing the size of existing units to meet current retail demand.

Atlantic Village sold for £13m U+I has sold the Atlantic Village outlet centre in Bideford, North Devon, to Global Mutual for £13m. The price reflects a net initial yield of 8.25 per cent. Atlantic Village opened in 2000 and has an open A1 planning consent. It is anchored by Marks & Spencer and Nike with a total of 41 retail units totalling 146,322 sq ft together with 800 car parking spaces. There is an outstanding consent for a petrol filling station which is pre-let to Asda. Colliers International advised U+I

and James Findlater, Colliers' head of shopping centre investment, said: "The last few years have seen particularly strong investor demand for factory outlet centres which offer a unique value proposition for consumers matched with low occupancy costs for retailers. The alignment of retailer and landlord interests through flexible lease structures promotes genuine partnership and has kept the sector energised despite consolidation in other physical retail formats in the face of online spending growth."



CHURCH SQUARE SOLD TO ST HELENS COUNCIL St Helens Council has bought Church Square shopping centre for £26.6m. The council sees owning the centre as a key part of bringing forward new regeneration plans for the town outlined in the ‘St Helens: Transforming our Town’ vision document. Council leader Barrie Grunewald said: “We are committed to investing in our borough, in a prudent way, to both increase our income streams and to help bring forward our town centre regeneration plans. By taking control of Church Square we can now properly plan for new town centre development.”

SIX MORE SIGN AT THE LEXICON BRACKNELL Six more brands have been added to the line-up at the Lexicon Bracknell taking occupancy to 94.3 per cent. Charles Tyrwhit leads the string of new lettings with a 1,685-sq ft store and will be joined by Jack Wills in 2,260 sq ft, Accessorize in 1,045 sq ft, Hotel Chocolate in 1,310 sq ft, Revital in 830 sq ft and TGI Fridays in 7,470 sq ft. CBRE and Lunson Mitchenall are joint agents on behalf of Legal & General Capital and Schroder UK Real Estate Fund.

TIM HORTONS MAKES UK MALL DEBUT Tim Hortons, the Canadian café and bake shop, has opened its latest restaurant at Silverburn, Glasgow. The opening marks the brand’s first restaurant in a UK shopping centre. The 2,368-sq ft restaurant is located in the Wintergarden, next to Patisserie Valerie. The opening follows recent news that PureGym has signed for an 11,300-sq ft unit located adjacent to Silverburn’s 14-screen Cineworld cinema. Other brands to have committed to Silverburn this year include Molton Brown and Flannels.


Intu sells Norwich stake LaSalle Investment Management has bought a 50 per cent stake in intu Chapelfield, Norwich, for £148m, representing a net initial yield of 5.0 per cent. LaSalle will hold the stake on behalf of Greater Manchester Pension Fund and West Yorkshire Pension Fund with intu retaining the management role. The price shows a small discount to the centre’s 30 June 2017 valuation. In the year to 31 December 2016 the centre generated net rental income of £15.5m. intu Chapelfield is located in the centre of Norwich and a key retail destination in East Anglia, with an annual footfall of 12 million. The centre provides 90 units and includes key retailers such as House of Fraser, Apple, Zara, River Island, H&M and Boots.

Tom Rose, fund manager at LaSalle, said: “This is an acquisition that we believe will provide long-term value. It is

a quality asset in an affluent catchment area, well-aligned with our strategy for UK investments.”

Sovereign Centros boosts St Enoch line-up Sovereign Centros has signed a raft of new lettings at St Enoch shopping centre in Glasgow ahead of a significant investment in the centre. Acting on behalf of owners Blackstone Real Estate, Sovereign Centros has secured deals with Swarovski, Billie’s Market, Pavers, Claire’s Accessories, Ecco, Thorntons, HMV, Asylum, Mr Nick’s Greek Kitchen and Starbucks Alexandra Popplestone of Sovereign Centros said: “Our masterplan approach for St Enochs is not only attracting new retailers, but is encouraging existing tenants to make a long term commitment to the centre.” Sovereign Centros’ masterplan approach includes a planning application for three new, reconfigured flagship retail units on Argyle Street, and a new Vue Cinema to anchor the new East End leisure development. Sovereign Centros was advised by Cushman & Wakefield and Eric Young & Co.


THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR Trinity Leeds stepped into Christmas with its Wonder Weekend. Iain Hoey went along to speak to marketing manager Dan Wharton and get involved with the festivities.


hristmas is the biggest shopping event of the year, and it was no holds barred at Trinity Leeds as the centre was lit up the by Europe’s largest Wishmas Tree launched during the centre’s Wonder Weekend which ran from November 4-5. The 788,900-

sq ft shopping destination pulled out all the stops with over 40 live performers and thousands of exclusive experiences and giveaways over the course of the weekend. “We launched Wonder Weekend last year,” Dan Wharton, marketing manager at the Landsec-owned shopping centre explained on the morning of the Saturday launch. “It is a Christmas launch, but what it really is is signposting us as an amazing destination for customer experiences. “Wonder weekend basically puts us on the map as the place to go for Christmas,” he continued. “In that mall we have over 40 entertainers from across Europe and the UK. We’ve got a guy out there who is all dressed in white and he only comes alive and starts entertaining if you pick up the paint brush that he’s got next to him and paint him. Hundreds of people today will go past him, paint him, have an amazing experience where he then does something comical, or does a dance but more importantly they’ll go away thinking wow that was unique, that was different.” The paintable man, also known as Johnman’s Blanko, was one of many weird and wonderful attractions throughout the centre over the course of the weekend. Other perform-ers included iconic Star Wars characters, stilt 8 | SHOPPING CENTRE DECEMBER 2017

performers Treemendous, contortionists and aerial acrobats from Cirque Bijou, various musical performers positioned and roaming throughout the centre, and of course Santa Claus himself staging a heist on the centre’s domed ceiling. “You’ll get a lot of people photographing these things so they’ll end up taking a picture, then they’ll share it with their friends and become our brand ambassadors by saying ‘I saw something amazing at Trinity Leeds today’,” Wharton explained. Aside from the performers, the centre hosted a number of activities redeemable as rewards to loyalty cardholders who had signed up for the Trinity Treat Card prior to the event. These experiences included a trip to the Sherbert Shack with special flavours such as Yorkshire pudding, roast beef and crab, a dip in the adult-sized ball pool, a shot at champagne pong where participants could win gifts ranging from hats to free meals at restaurants within the centre, a toffee apple workshop, an edible bubble experience, and the opportunity to get a one-of-a-kind chocolate selfie. The centre also welcomed back personal training company Vlique, who injected some energy with a pop-up fitness experience hosted by influencers and music from a live DJ, a contrast to the local beautician who was on hand to relax pamper eligible shoppers. “There’s nowhere else that I know of that’s given this sort of unique experience to their customers,” Wharton continued. “We’re giving out 10,000 candy canes, 5,000


mince pies, 5,000 tote bags with offers to enjoy. It’s the level of ambition where we want to be in terms of delivering experience.” The conclusion of the opening day saw the launch of Europe’s largest Wishmas Tree: a gigantic floor-to-ceiling Christmas tree which is connected to the centre’s LED dome and illuminates when somebody ‘makes a wish’ beneath it, turning from white to passion red whenever someone makes a donation. “At five o’clock today we’re going to launch the tree with an aerial contortionist from France, an act called Cirque Bijou, and then do a choreographed show with a wishmas fairy on the back of gospel choirs singing behind it – it’s all going to be very emotional,” Wharton enthused. “The fairy will launch the tree which will then drop ten thousand balloons from the ceiling and everybody goes away merry and has had a fantastic time.” An event of this calibre takes a lot of planning and marketing. It is all well to put on a show but without good

consumer communication it runs the risk of falling flat. But this was not to be the case for the Wonder Weekend, as nobody coming to Leeds over the weekend could miss the signs for the event. “We’ve advertised out-of-home with the entirety of Leeds train station carpeted in our message,” Wharton laughed. “Our main focuses are radio, outdoor and social media. I’d say that social media is probably the key driver – that’s very important to us. One of the mechanics that we’ve asked people to register to get the ‘extra’ treats today. It’s very important that we drive people digitally to our website to understand what the event is about where they can then receive that treat card to go away and do it." Wharton says the last count had over 25,000 people hitting the Wonder Weekend web page and 5,000 people registering for the treat card. “We could’ve gone an extra 5,000 or 15,000 again but you’ve got to stop it somewhere,” he said. Trinity Leeds is a centre that prides itself on striving to deliver fantastic customer experiences all day long. Wharton says this can be as small as an ice lolly on a hot day, or a free umbrella on a wet day. “We call those smaller interactions smile in the minds,” he explains. “Those little that might just make your day as you’re walking through.” The centre specialises in going big with its events and experience strategy, from having a 30ft helter skelter in at Easter, to having the entire city of Leeds made out of cake on one of its bridge links that shoppers could actually take a sample from. But such events are not things that happen overnight – planning is key. “These things take months but we act fast, we have an onsite events team who can react to things and make the magic happen,” Wharton added. “We do all these things not just to say ‘Hey, we’re Trinity Leeds’, we do all these things because experience is fundamentally important to making this business work and the best at delivering experiences will survive in what is a very tough market.” DECEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 9

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


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26 Leisure F&B grows dwell time out of town


LONDON’S NEW BACK YARD Meyer Bergman launches leasing of £300m Borough Yards project on London’s South Bank.


n a city as busy as London there are always going to be viable places for more retail, and in July 2016 Meyer Bergman was granted consent for the redevelopment the warren of railway arches formerly occupied by the wine-themed attraction Vinopolis. The retail and office scheme, which aims to become an extension to Borough Market, is now gaining traction with pre-leasing agreements in place with The Office Group and Everyman Cinema. The scheme’s design was conceived by award-winning practice SPPARC and involves the redevelopment of former wine-tasting venue Vinopolis and neighbouring sites. It is well positioned, fronting onto a pedestrian path linking the Tate Modern to the west with Borough Market, London Bridge Station and The Shard to the east. The mixed-use scheme will be dominated by more than 115,600 sq ft of retail and leisure space. Moriss, principal at SPPARC Architecture, called the scheme a unique opportunity for retailers to build unforgettable flagship experiences in cathedral-like industrial spaces. He said: “The extensive network of railway viaducts and arches at Borough Yards is one of site’s and London’s great legacies of the Victorian era. These splendid structures are being restored and integrated into the development scheme, weaving and cohabiting historic heritage with contemporary architecture.” As part of the redevelopment, a new pedestrian lane – Dirty Lane – will create access from Park Street to Bank End. Borough Yards will re-introduce several of the area’s original Elizabethan street names, including Clink Yard and Soap Yard, celebrating the site’s heritage. While the scheme is to be predominantly retail-led,

The Office Group will occupy Thames House and a new adjacent building, taking a total of 68,500 sq ft of office space while the new building will incorporate a 6,100-sq ft Everyman cinema. Borough Yards scheme is scheduled to open in early 2020. Markus Meijer, CEO at Meyer Bergman, called the signings a sign of the ambition of the scheme that will create an even balance of work and lifestyle. He said: “This part of Borough has been under-served in terms of a retail offering given the needs of the local community, the commuters who arrive at London Bridge and the number of visitors exploring the iconic sights in this part of London. “The Everyman Cinema will make Borough Yards an after-work entertainment venue too, a valuable addition to the area that will make it livelier in the evenings. We see this project as a huge opportunity to create something truly unique and are looking for retail and leisure concepts that fit our vision.” The scheme was officially unveiled on November 15 at MAPIC, where George Walsh-Waring, principal at Meyer Bergman, gave his vote of confidence in the renovation. He said: “Someone asked me which retailers do you think would be most interested in the scheme. My response was to say look at the area. The South Bank of London has gone through strong regeneration and for the city it’s gone through a renaissance. “You’ve got 56 million people coming over London Bridge, 16 million people coming through Borough Market, and the Tate Modern attracts over 6 million people every year. Borough Market is a seven-days-a-week, all-yearround venue. People come to enjoy and experience everything it has to offer.” DECEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 11


STRATFORD STANDS PROUD Annual Trevor Wood survey shows Westfield Stratford remains the UK’s number one shopping centre but most centres have seen their attractiveness decline


revor Wood Associates’ Going Shopping 2018 – The Definitive Guide to Shopping Centres has for the sixth consecutive year named Westfield Stratford City as the leading UK shopping centre. The comprehensive research highlights the resilience of the nation’s top division of retail centres despite significant market pressures. Alongside its regular retail rankings, this year’s guide provides new analysis of anchor tenants and a more detailed review of the development pipeline. In its 30th anniversary year, the flagship report reflects tough market conditions, with most schemes seeing their scores fall since last year. Yet the top performing centres have largely retained their league positions, with Westfield Stratford City retaining top spot, followed by Bluewater, Westfield London, Intu Metrocentre and Meadowhall, while St David’s in Cardiff moved up to eighth place. The report ranks all shopping centres over 50,000 sq ft by their overall attractiveness to shoppers, retailers and investors. To arrive at the attractiveness rankings points are awarded for features including tenants, lettable area, weekly footfall and facilities. Although there have been few positional changes in the top echelons of the rankings, there has been more activity further down the table, including news that The Lexicon in Bracknell and Westgate Oxford both stormed their way into the top 50 schemes, with more units scheduled to open in each centre next year. The report also includes analysis of the occupier market. Cos12 | SHOPPING CENTRE DECEMBER 2017

ta Coffee is now the leading shopping centre tenant, with 286 units in 261 of the Top 500 centres. The other top five spots went to Card Factory, EE, New Look and Boots. Boots is the leading anchor store for both the Top 500 and Top 200 centres, with H&M second. However the top two positions are reversed when focusing solely on the Top 100 centres. Elsewhere, Smiggle was named the fastest-growing retailer with the addition of 33 units this year following the addition of 39 last year. Blue Inc shed the greatest number of units, with 23 fewer shops within the Top 500 centres than the previous year. LaSalle Investment Management took over from Intu Properties as the leading investment manager for UK shopping centres, even before the recent Chapelfield deal. Savills retained its crown as the top managing agent, while Cushman & Wakefield managed to maintain its position as the leading shopping centre letting agent. Trevor Wood Associates’ assessment of the development pipeline underlines the appetite of owners to continue investing in retail destinations despite the challenging climate. A total of 84 schemes are thought likely to proceed before the end of 2024 and developments such as the Whitgift centre redevelopment in Croydon, The St James’ shopping centre in Edinburgh and Talbot Green shopping centre in Llantrisant are already coming out of the ground. There are five fewer proposals than in last years’ analysis but this is largely down to the fact that 14 in the previous list are now open and trading.


BIG IS BEAUTIFUL Supermalls set to outperform the wider retail market as their focus on leisure and food service makes them more attractive to millennials, according to new research from GlobalData


ata and analytics company GlobalData has concluded that sales at the largest malls – those over 1 million sq ft and drawing over 20 million shopper visits pa – will rise by 7.2 per cent over the next five years, outpacing growth in the wider retail market, which is forecast to be 5.0 per cent over the same period. GlobalData’s report ‘UK Supermalls 2017-2022’ reveals that although clothing & footwear will remain the largest sector and the biggest contributor to growth, smaller sectors including health & beauty and jewellery are set to be the fastest growing rising by 14.5 per cent and 13.8 per cent respectively. The all-round appeal of supermalls will drive the market to reach £12.3bn in 2022 helped by the wide variety of food service and leisure options together with consumer desire to spend on experiences and services. In the last 12 months 43.2 per cent of the UK population have visited a supermall attracted by the wide choice of retailers and products, alongside the experience that a supermall offers. Sofie Willmott, senior retail analyst at GlobalData explains: “Our UK Supermalls report shows that younger shoppers have the highest penetration of all age groups, with 69.2 per cent of 16-24 year olds visiting a supermall in the past 12 months affirming the importance of shopping in physical stores for the younger generation. The rising demand of the ‘foodie’ millennial has driven supermalls to focus on their

food service offer alongside leisure, with developments planned over the next five years focused on leisure as oppose to retail expansion.” Fashion retailers such as Primark, H&M and JD Sports have created large format destination stores in supermalls with strengthened product ranges suggesting a new set of key retailers will usurp traditional anchors such as Debenhams, Next and M&S in the coming years. Willmott explains “Department stores have traditionally been the anchor retailers and have brought credibility to supermalls however as fashion players such as H&M, Zara and Missguided invest in exciting, up-scaled stores demonstrating their brand credentials and offering a broad range, it is questionable whether these longstanding stalwarts are still a requirement.” A best-in-class multichannel experience is vital at supermalls to protect against spend shifting online, according to Willmott. She adds: “Supermalls are more attractive to consumers than other physical locations due to the additional services available. However as online sales continue to rise and physical shopping missions reduce in frequency, supermalls must ensure they remain relevant and can offer the same seamless experience that online shopping provides. The promotion of convenient services like CollectPlus lounges and ‘hands-free’ shopping will enhance the customer experience and increase spend per visit.” DECEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 13

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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PROPERTY PREDICTIONS The retail property sector suffered a subdued 2017 with capital and rental values under pressure and increased polarisation between the prime end of the spectrum and the rest of the market. Does 2018 look any better?



017 ended with shopping centre investment activity and the development pipeline close to all-time lows. Shopping centres have fallen out of favour with investors as doubts mount about the consumer economy post-Brexit at the same time as retailers face a triple whammy from increased rates, labour costs and import costs. However new research from Savills implies that some of this pessimism may have been misplaced, and the retail climate may be more benign in the coming year. Savills’ researcher Marie Hickey says: “We expect these cost pressures will start to subside throughout 2018 translating into improved retailer confidence and occupational demand, albeit this will be tentative and largely focused on prime retail locations initially.” Hickey forecasts rents will be virtually static again in 2018, with average growth of just 0.3 per cent, but she selects Central London and out-of-town destination shopping centres as the sub-sectors most likely to outperform, adding: “We also expect to also see strong performance in more 'convenience' locations where trading performance is robust and total occupational costs are more affordable." On the occupational side, Hickey forecasts the trend towards ‘rightsizing’ will pick up pace as retailers react to

the continued growth in online sales. Generally, she predicts that outside of the flagship malls demand will be skewed towards smaller units and shorter leases. However some of the slack could be taken up by new entrants to the retail scene, with manufacturers and car brands, such as Dyson and Tesla, using stores as a way to raise brand awareness and to improve customer engagement. Against this backdrop, developers are largely hedging their bets by concentrating on extensions to existing centres rather than breaking ground on entirely new projects. A case in point is the £600m retail expansion of Westfield London which is targeted to open in March 2018. The expansion will make Westfield London the largest shopping destination in Europe with around 450 shops across 2.6m sq ft of lettable area The 740,000-sq ft extension will provide an additional 70 shops including a 230,000-sq ft John Lewis department store. A major focus on dining and experience will be centred on the dedicated open events space at Relay Square and the refurbished Dimco Building. In addition the extension will provide 1,000 additional parking spaces taking the scheme’s total to 5,500 while 1,522 new homes are being built on-site, including affordable homes. The expansion is already proving attractive to


al and UK retailers seeking flagship stores, building upon the £1bn retail sales that the centre currently generates. and consolidating Westfield London’s position as a world-leading retail and entertainment destination, featuring the best in fashion, dining, leisure, events, services and technology with the customer experience at the heart. Similarly intu is adding 500,000 sq ft to two of its malls on the M25 London orbital motorway. Both intu Watford and intu Lakeside are undergoing leisure-led extensions in parallel with wider refurbishments. At Watford, north of London, intu is now less than a year from completing a £130m project that will create a dominant 1.4 million-sq ft retail and leisure destination. The development will be anchored by Debenhams, Superdry, New Look and H&M as well as introducing family-friendly leisure activities such as a nine-screen IMAX Cineworld cinema and Hollywood Bowl. And the existing mall is being refurbished in parallel with construction of the extension. “Watford has the most amazing catchment profile,” said intu’s regional director Rebecca Ryman. “We’ve focussed on the customer journey so we started refurbishing the car parks first. We’re now on-site with the mall refurbishment, refreshing the flooring

and softening the lighting.” The one bright spot in investment and development terms is the outlet sector. Received wisdom was once that the UK had reached outlet saturation but 2018 will see two major schemes start on site. In the north-east, the 250,000-sq ft Scotch Corner development at junction 55 of the A1(M) motorway will start in Spring 2018 with completion expected in Autumn 2019. It will provide 92 units – 10 of which will be for food & beverage – and 1,300 car spaces. And in the West Midlands McArthurGlen expects to start work on the 285,000-sq ft scheme at Cannock in the first quarter of 2018. Joint MD of development Gary Bond says the scheme will dominate the West Midlands, a regional market currently underserved by outlets. At the same time McArthurGlen is upgraded and extending several other UK schemes, most notably the Ashford Designer Outlet in Kent where a second phase will take the scheme to 280,000 sq ft. The Cheshire Oaks outlet will also see a further extension. “Our strategy is to make our schemes regionally dominant by widening the catchment, and to do that you have to have over 200,00 sq ft,” says Bond.










CLEAN SLATE Landsec and the Crown Estate’s new Westgate Oxford development presented a rare opportunity to design a 1,000-space car park from scratch, incorporating the latest in parking technology.


he 800,000-sq ft Westgate Oxford opened in October 2017 after a gestation period stretching into decades. Anchored by a 140,000-sq ft John Lewis store alongside MSUs for Next, H&M, Superdry, Uniqlo and Primark, the £440m development also features a strong leisure and F&B line-up. The centre’s 1,000 car spaces are arranged on two underground decks, with a single entry and exit point at one end, and all access to the shopping and leisure levels above via a central core. Landsec’s portfolio car park manager Paul Plumbley was effectively presented with a clean sheet to work alongside the architects on the design to make parking at Westgate as efficient as possible. He says the design drew its inspiration from Landsec’s Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, which also features two huge underground decks. “We learned from the Gunwharf experience that we’d need to work on bay indicators and signage,” Plumbley explains. “On entry people aren’t immediately aware that there’s another deck lower down.” When signage was upgraded at Gunwharf, it made a “massive difference” according to Plumbley. “Dwell time actually went down because people were able to find spaces more quickly.” Landsec used the Indect system, working alongside WPS, its UK parking equipment supplier. “We brought Indect over from Austria,” says Plumbley. “It’s one of the best space indicator systems out there. It’s simple to use and works primarily off signage. The bay indicator is the finisher.” Plumbley explains that at every decision point the driver is presented with an informed choice of where to go to find the most available spaces. “That’s what makes the car

park work,” Plumbley says. “It takes away the pain and we’re getting very good feedback.” The WPS pay-on-foot system is linked to ANPR so drivers can pass straight through the exit barriers, and three entry lanes are designed to speed up entry. “The car park’s already going to full at weekends, but as of yet we’ve not had any traffic backing up onto the street,” Plumbley says. And in the back office the system provides the management team with a 3D map of the car park, showing occupancy levels and allowing them to identify hotspots. A final innovation is about to be installed – a traffic alert system which will convey customer messages on key routes within the car park. “We’re installing 42-inch screens at eight locations,” explains Plumbley. “They’re designed to mimic the motorway VMS signs because people are used to paying attention to them. If we do get a back-up the sides of the screens pulse red to attract attention and they’ll carry messages like ’incident outside car park - 20 minute delay.’ “We’re going to roll it out to all of our big centres,” Plumbley says. “It’s a simple idea but weirdly it’s never been done.” Parking bays are larger than average at 2.5m x 5m. “We wanted to go as big as we could,” says Plumbley. And the bays are delineated with triple-width white lines. “They make people square up better,” he notes. LED Lighting has been used throughout, to keep costs down and to ensure the car park is bright and welcoming. And oversize graphics painted on the walls mean shoppers can find their way around quickly and easily. Another major feature of the car park is its over-provision of EV charge points. 50 EV bays have been installed, with DECEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 19


7kw chargers from Evolt that are free to use for the time being and crucially are not linked to any one network. Users can activate them simply by presenting a debit or credit card. At the moment any cars can use the bays but as EV takeup increases more will be coned off specifically for charging, but Plumbley was keen to future-proof the car park rather than have to retrofit equipment several years hence. As well as taking a new approach to layout and equipment, Plumbley was keen that the Westgate opening could take a new look at role of the car park team. The lower level core houses the car park office, which is open-plan so the staff are always on hand. “The team’s all about customer service, not enforcement” says Plumbley, “they’re interacting with customers, not handing out tickets.” And by locating the office in the very centre of the car park team members are never more than a few seconds from someone who needs help. Located right beside the centre’s disabled bays, the office also houses the shopmobility scheme, with a range of brand new scooters and wheelchairs, both push and electric. Landsec chose to operate the scheme in-house rather than partnering with a charity to ensure that it dovetails seamlessly with the rest of its customer service operation. At peak hours scooters and chairs are also available from the centre’s help point on shopping level one.

PARK & RIDE With its medieval streetscape, Oxford has a history of traffic problems and the local authorities were clear that the Westgate development could not drive an increase in car numbers coming into a city centre that was already bursting at the seams. In fact, the 1,000 car spaces in the new centre is a reduction on the number in the old multi-storey car park that was demolished to make way for the new development. Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council were clear that as many shoppers as possible should use the city’s established park & ride system, which has five car parks dotted around the city ring road. Landsec embraced the approach, and has worked with the councils to make the system more user-friendly, according to Plumbley. “18 months out we commissioned specific research on the park & ride,” he says. “We asked what people liked about it and what could be improved and we found there 20 | SHOPPING CENTRE DECEMBER 2017

were specific issues around information and around double payment – people had to pay separately to park and to get on the bus. We realised we had to simplify the system.” Landsec paid for new machines that offer a £6.80 family ticket that covers parking and return bus journeys for two adults and up to three children, as well as for 20ft totems in the car parks to make it easier for people to remember where they’ve parked. “It’s been a big win – it’s proving really popular,” says Plumbley. And to reinforce the message new VMS signs have been installed on all routes into the city saying: ‘for Westgate use park & ride.’ But once drivers got beyond the park & ride car parks Landsec worked with the council on improving signage to reduce tailbacks. “At each decision point there’s clear direction to Westgate,” Plumbley says. “We funded it so it’s consistent – it’s about the entire journey not just the car park.” Plumbley concludes: “The car parking experience should almost be forgettable. People remember car parks for the wrong reasons but if it’s completely frictionless then people remember the centre and not the car park.”


BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS Parking solution provider Simplyture brings its drive-in drive-out ANPR payment system to the UK.


hen Jonas Orting and Simplyture’s other founders were conceiving their parking solutions company, the question they asked themselves was “what is actually happening within parking?” The answer was, seemingly, very little. They observed that it has been the same thing in parking for so long: you go to the barrier, you get the ticket automatically or from the parking attendant, you pay at the machine and you go. It’s a straightforward solution and it works, and yet parking is one of the biggest potential shopping trip woes, from prices, to queues, to being unable to find a space, to being landed with a fine. Orting is optimistic that the future of parking is changing. “When you see that things have been carried out in the same way for about 20 years, that’s where disruption happens,” he says, taking on a mantra held by many of the worlds greatest innovators. “What no-one was changing was the administration tool, the underlying platforms that actually administer the payment. You still have to have the barrier or you still have to have the attendant running around. The innovation within the barriers were essentially ‘we can go up a little bit faster than we could before’”. Simplyture gave themselves the task of reimagining the whole parking payment system. “We built a digital cloud-based administration application through which we can then administer any parking facility,” he says. “Whether it’s in a shopping centre, a hospital, a hotel, you name it we can administer it. We use license plate recognition which has allowed us to remove barriers, we’ve been able to supply with many different payment models, such as mobile. What we’re working towards is for drivers being able to enter into a car park, then just login to their account, agree to pay, go shopping, get back in their car, get a thank you message, be told how much they’ll be charged


and then just drive off. No queueing, no fines. That’s the direction we’re moving to. We’re the underlying enabler of that technology.” Simplyture originates in mainland Europe, but it recently crossed the channel with the appointment of Darren Burns as the company's country manager for the UK. “I think we do something a bit different to the rest of the market,” says Burns. “The UK is a bit behind on parking. We’re still very much about barriers and traffic wardens and car park attendants. With our solution we can really support hospitals and airports and especially shopping centres because we remove these obstacles and really support the journey for the customer. The parking solution is all about shifting the focus to the consumer, who is by and large the recipient of the paid experience that is parking. At the end of the day it is a revenue source, but it is one that needs to be managed and administered in a positive way to be a continued success. “We are the start and the end of a customer’s journey,” says Burns. “If you have a bad experience then you’re going to remember it. This is why we are trying to remove all the obstacles and bring the future to now where you should drive into a carpark and you should leave and the payment is done by mobile apps or in-car technologies or online when you get home. There are so many advancements for our solution but that is the main focus for the general public.” Orting calls the model of determining how much parking you plan to pay for on arrival being one of the many barriers that holds parking back. “In many places,” he says, “you have to pay when you enter the place. You have to decide ‘am I going to be here for one hour or two hours’ when most of the time you don’t really know how long you’re going to be there. But why should you need to pay in advance? It’s such a hassle – either you end up paying too little or you pay too much, and


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it’s not really fair. What we asked is how can we turn the whole focus around and focus on the customer journey? How can we make that easier? Obviously that creates challenges, but that’s essentially what we’re here to figure out.” The average time for a customer in a shopping centre is an hour and a half to two hours, which is why pricing in car parks in the UK generally starts at two hours, then builds from there. The last thing a customer and shopping centre managers alike want are shoppers cutting their shopping trip short because they’re about to run out of pre-paid parking. Both Orting and Burns emphasise the importance of communication via push notifications and how this can exponentially increase consumer spend and dwell time. “What we’re trying to do is to give a service,” says Burns. “When a customer



drives in and they get two hours of parking and then our service kicks in when they’ve got 15 minutes to go they get a notification that tells them “your time is almost up, but if you go to Caffé Nero and buy a coffee, or go to Wagamamas then we’ll give you an extra hour or two hours of parking for free.” Integrating with a pre-existing loyalty system and working to improve the overall customer experience is another string to Simplyture’s bow. But it’s as much about collecting data as it is about benefitting the customer. “One of the things that no one really has thought about is the wealth of data that comes from the car park,” says Orting. “We built this cloud-based platform where you start to collect all this data to see real time occupancy but also short term occupancy, for example

“Why should you need to pay in advance? It’s such a hassle – either you end up paying too little or you pay too much, and it’s not really fair.”

what happens on Black Friday. If you use the ANPR technology to combine that information with a frequency of visits you can start to see who they are, where they come from, when they come, how long they stay for and then you can really start to segregate that into different groups of customers. Obviously it doesn’t cover everyone who comes to the centre, but it is an interesting piece of information that you can glean a lot from.” But for a technology that strives to remove barriers and the need for human interaction, there will forever lie the question: what happens to those who drive in and drive out without paying? “Our main belief here is taking the customer into focus,” Orting concludes. “Obviously we can’t decide this for a centre, but what we try to push is that it doesn’t become a fine but instead and ‘administration charge’ so a letter is sent that says: "dear customer you forgot to pay for your parking it was X amount plus a small administration charge for sending the letter." It’s up to the car park itself at how much this is set at, but we’d say it should be enough to stop people choosing this option every time. The main idea is that it shouldn’t be a ‘fine’ fine.”

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TECH BOOSTS PARKING COMPLIANCE Technology is helping call the shots in parking enforcement according to Andrew Rhodes


t doesn’t really matter if you manage a car park for a local authority, an NHS Health Trust, an education facility, a retail park or a corporate company, at some point the issue of how to enforce your parking regulations will be on the agenda. And if that’s on the agenda, then how to deal with frustrated customers and potential bad press will not be far behind. It’s easy to drop into believing that enforcement is the easiest way to manage a car park. After all, we need procedures and ways to enforce the rules for the benefit of all users. But controlling the enforcement brings with it a responsibility. Get it wrong and there will soon follow an avalanche of negative media leading to potentially difficult conversations in the public domain, which isn’t something to take lightly. But Clearview argues that getting the best out of a car park is not just about enforcement, it’s about encouraging and rewarding the correct behaviour. So what are the alternatives? We are not advocating a total removal of enforcement—there are still people who will flout the rules no matter what, but the majority of users will respond to fair parking instructions if guided in the right way. Putting in place measures that encourage a change in behaviour or reward positive actions will not only have a similar effect to enforcement, but also allow you to avoid 26 | SHOPPING CENTRE DECEMBER 2017

negative press coverage. Psychological reinforcement is an interesting topic that could be applied to car parks. In behavioural psychology, reinforcement is defined as a consequence that will strengthen an organism's future behaviour whenever that behaviour is preceded by a specific stimulus. Translated into the world of car parks this means if you can put in place solutions that make parking easy and hassle-free then the user will have no issues in returning time and time again. This all seems obvious, but cast your mind over car parks that you have recently visited. There are plenty that still have no space availability signage, no live guidance to where empty spaces are and no help to the user on how long it will take to get to their destination. They simply have enforcement and punishments if you transgress the rules. Does this kind of car park encourage repeat use? Nudge theory is a similar concept that has gained momentum in recent years, particularly in political circles. Nudge theory is a concept in behavioural science which argues that positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions to try to achieve non-forced compliance can influence the motives, incentives and decision making of groups and individuals, at least as effectively – if not more effectively – than direct instruction, legislation, or enforcement. Again, put simply if you can influence a driver on which car park to use before they arrive or guide them using positive messages on arrival,

Andrew Rhodes is marketing manager at Clearview Intelligence


then you are less likely to need enforcement. The other upside to putting in place solutions that understand and guide car park usage is that the management team can have real data at their fingertips. This data can be used to guide softer enforcement tactics, such as informing teams on which bays are nearing an overstay situation and so allowing for on-the-ground or digital reminders to be sent to the driver before a transgression occurs. This data can also be used to inform users of where in a city or town there are available spaces even before they set off on their journey, bringing with it the benefits of reducing congestion, pollution and journey times.

HOW CAN NEW THINKING COMPLEMENT ENFORCEMENT TECHNIQUES? Clearview recently held a parking showcase day at our Milton Keynes offices where a wide range of interested parties came along to see examples of our current parking solutions and what new technology we are testing for the future. Part of the day was an open conversation and sharing of experiences on how different parking solutions work best in different environments. There were plenty of ideas flying around the room on how to best encourage and enforce parking regulations, and a lively conversation ensued. It was clear through simple sharing of experiences and

“If you can put in place solutions that make parking easy and hassle free then the user will have no issues in returning time and time again” applying knowledge of different situations that parking solutions would benefit from non-enforcement ideas. Especially when new technology enables real-time data capture and guidance using Internet of Things devices that can be deployed to capitalise on the spaces available. Here at Clearview we are committed to working with, and alongside all car park operators and suppliers, because we recognise that no one solution will solve all the challenges car parks are facing.


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CHARGING Why parking infrastructure needs to take electric cars into consideration


he number of electric vehicles (EV) in the UK is on the rise and with the news that new diesel and petrol cars will no longer be sold in the UK from the year 2040, this number is only going to increase, with estimates predicting that one in three cars purchased by 2024 will be electric. For once, the systematic relationship between industry and the government is matching up: the state is enforcing social good through regulation, tax, and funding, and industry is responding by innovating to meet those challenges and restrictions. Whether we want it to or not, the rise and rise of EV is going to massively impact the infrastructure of parking. But it’s not imminent. Yes, the number is rising, but there’s still plenty of time to get ready to absorb the influx of electric vehicles, it’s just going to take some forward planning. But how prepared is the UK? EVs have become increasingly popular in larger cities, especially London due to their being exempt from congestion charges. The biggest issues for many drivers living in

built-up areas is the the inability to access a charging point as supply struggles to meet demand. Parking operator Q-Park is offering resident discounts for EV drivers which resolves the issue in part for many in busy city centre locations, and it’s something to consider for the future. The parking operator is working to install EV charging point in its car parks nationwide. The number of charging points is on the rise, but it’s still not a foregone conclusion for an EV driver that when they arrive at a parking place there will be the option to charge up. While there are the likes of Zapp Map, an EV charging point locating app, there is still work to be done when it comes to communicating where charging points are. Charging networks need to consider ways raise the visibility of not only their chargers but all chargers if the public are to adopt EVs on a broader scale. Shopping centres are the pillars of industry and are at the centre of consumer consciousness and promoting these kinds of sustainable responsibility should be a given.

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Leeds’ White Rose Centre is becoming an exemplary shopping destination, as general manager Steven Foster sets out the importance of EV as part of the centre’s sustainability strategy. “There are currently four electric car charging points at White Rose for customers to use and a further four car charging spaces within the dedicated staff car park,� says Foster. “We consulted with a customer forum of electric car owners before installing these, and they provided valuable insight on location and appearance of the area.� “White Rose is committed to sustainability and we continually aim to reduce our carbon footprint and enhance our positive impact on the environment and local community,� he continues, “Recent initiatives include the largest solar panel installation on a shopping centre in the UK, and rolling out LED lighting throughout the centre and car park. The electric car charging points are connected directly to the solar panel system so when the sun is shining we are offering truly sustainable vehicle charging. We are likely to invest in further charging points in the future as the demand for electric cars continues to grow.� The presence of EV charging points is bordering the line of being a selling point and being a point of expectation. Does Foster think the introduction of charging points will

have a positive impact on bringing more electric car driving shoppers to the centre? “We expect the introduction of the charging points to attract more electric car users as ownership continues to grow,� he says. “The introduction of electric vehicle charging points is just one example of White Rose’s commitment to deliver the best experience for our visitors, and we are continually looking at how best to respond to changing customer needs.� The technology is advancing to the point that the pros are outweighing the cons, with vehicle numbers on the rise and charging times slashed from six hours to 30 minutes – although these fast chargers are still in the process of rolling out. How soon electric vehicles will dramatically alter the infrastructure of parking is guesswork. A car manufacturer that rejects the technology altogether risks becoming irrelevant. Hybrid cars are likely to be the stepping stone that many drivers will use in their move into the EV market and just think: we had the smoking ban and eventually vaporisers swept the market with dedicated stores exploding into high streets. The 2040 deadline might seem far away, but for an industry such as parking where disruption is rare and progress is slow, operators like White Rose and Q-Park have understood: now is the time to get ready.

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Landsec has launched an online shopping portal trial at Bluewater


eaturing over one million items from m Bluewater’s retailers, the new portal – shopping – provides guests with the e opportunity to conduct research on particular products ducts or product categories, seek alternatives and, ultimately, y, to purchase for delivery or collection at Bluewater. In addition, ddition, the portal identifies the location of the store so they ey can physically experience the brand as part of their purchase. ase. The innovation is part of Landsec’s strategy gy of using technology to enhance the guest experience ce across its portfolio of retail and leisure destinations. Byy trialling the portal at Bluewater, Landsec is creating additional ditional means by which guests can interact with destinations ons when not physically there, reflecting their position as lifestyle brands. Commenting on the launch, Ailish Christian-West, an-West, head of shopping centres at Landsec, said: “Our priority at Landsec is providing guests with a unique experience, ience, one that complements their needs and aspirations. While nothing quite beats the physical experience of visiting ng one of our retail and leisure destinations, the new shopping pping portal reflects how people are increasingly living their heir lives. Our guests can now move seamlessly between the physical and virtual worlds to make purchases and enjoyy experiences." The launch of the shopping portal is the latest atest in a series of experience-focused innovations from rom Landsec. Earlier this year, the company launched guest est experience measurement tools and analysis across its portfolio of retail and leisure destinations in partnership p with Service Management Group. The launch followed a successful pilot over three years at Bluewater. SMG’s technology, which utilises voluntary ry online surveys, real time analysis of results and instant stant messaging of key findings, is being used by Landsec to understand guests’ responses to events, new guest experience perience initiatives, and the wider retailer experience at each asset.




he commercial real estate industry needs a number of systems for the day-to-day goings on of shopping centres, from security, to leasing, to maintenance. Keeping track of everything can become a headache as the different systems criss-cross over one another. Real Estate Connect (REC) aims to bring together the entire real estate ecosystem into one place. “Real Estate Connect was born out of the need for clients,” explains Kyri Striftombolas, managing director at REC’s parent company TopUp Consultants. “The real estate industry uses so much software that they have siloed software for each different aspect of real estate. What we decided to build Real Estate Connect because we wanted a platform which could connect your real estate systems and data all in one place.” Essentially, the system is akin to a small social media network that changes depending on what individual is accessing it. A tenant, for example, can access the portal to look at their lease length, their bills, their electricity usage etc. They can also use it to file a maintenance request. A building owner can use it as a hub to look at monthly reports at any time rather than having them sent direct. A cleaning or maintenance team can get instant messages alerts about jobs that need done. It’s a system that breaks down the communication barriers and streamlines the building management process into a single platform. “Its about making the process more controlled and user friendly,” Striftombolas says. “In short, everyone who logs into REC has a different view. It’s essentially a go to place for everybody in the building to go to that can replace some of your existing software and make it easy to manage.” REC is an open system which enables it to integrate with any other existing programmes. It offers is a customisable portal which is built around a number of apps. Currently the system has 25 code-free apps, which means the apps

Real Estate Connect brings together property systems, data and people all in one place

have already been developed, all users need to do is drag and drop and create the page as they want it to look. And there’s going to be more apps to come. “Out of the 25 apps that are available, you choose which ones you want,” Striftombolas tells. “If you’re a shopping centre you aren’t likely to want the booking system. But you will want marketing, a travel feed, security. You can choose five apps, 10 apps, as many or as few as you like, it’s up to you.” Striftombolas puts emphasis on the apps being codefree, making it configurable to you, from the apps you have to how they are customised. “You can customise and create unique solutions with a look and feel and functionality that suits your business,” he explains. Say, for example, you’re a property owner that owns five malls. All of those malls is going to be called something different and they’re all going to have different branding and aesthetic. The Westfield London centre portal is going to look different from the Westfield Stratford portal.”

As the system was only recently unveiled, the roll out is yet to take place, but Striftombolas estimates this will come at the beginning of next year. “We’ve been working closely with a couple of early adopters and they are getting the benefit of three new apps that are coming out before the launch,” he adds. “We’re still open to more early adopters. We’re going to launch the product in early 2018. We’ve had interest from other companies wanting to become partners from other countries who we’ve presented it to who are very keen on taking the product on.” DECEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 31


Retail sales rebound Retail sales picked up in the year to November following a significant dip in October, according to the latest CBI Quarterly Distributive Trades Survey. Overall 39 per cent of respondents reported that sales volumes were up on a year ago in November, while 13 per cent said they were down, giving a balance of +26 per cent. And retailers expect sales volumes to pick up again next month, with 39 per cent expecting them to rise and 9 per cent to fall. Year-on-year growth in internet sales volumes at +46 per cent was broadly unchanged from last month’s +45 per cent. Grocers reported strong sales

volumes in the year to November (+65 per cent), while robust growth was also reported in other sub sectors, such as hardware and DIY (+51 per cent) and clothing (+53 per cent). The monthly survey showed that tepid trading conditions for the retail sector are taking their toll on hiring and optimism. Employment declined in the year to November, for the fourth quarter running, and is set to fall again in the year to December. Retailers once again expect the business situation to deteriorate – albeit marginally – over the next quarter, but investment spending is expected to grow slightly in

CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said: “It’s great to see retail sales rebound this month after a big dip, but let’s be clear: our high streets are not out of the woods. Ahead of the crucial run up to Christmas, the weaker pound has pushed up prices and retailers are nervous about business conditions and are trimming their workforces. “The relief from the rising burden of business rates in the Budget will be welcome on the UK’s high streets, as will the investment in local transport connections and housing which should supporting our local communities but the job is not done, now

the year ahead for the second consecutive quarter.

is the time for swift delivery.”

Outlets evolve

The outlet mall format is evolving, with hybrid offers and urban schemes providing key opportunities for future success according to a new report from Savills and Seven Dials. Retail Revolutions: The Evolution of the Outlet Centre found that average footfall has grown 10 per cent at such schemes since 2012, while average spend has risen from €57 to €81.25 and the number of shoppers visiting between three and 11 times


per year is up by 10 per cent. The report also highlights the trend for malls to increase their leisure offer. Restaurant provision has doubled since 2011, now accounting for circa 8 per cent of units at outlet centres across the board and upwards of 10 per cent at many schemes. At London Designer Outlet, 29 per cent of units are occupied by cafes and restaurants. Landlords are also seeking to create other types

of hybrid scheme. For example, the innovative Princes Quay development in Hull, is one of the first to mix an outlet centre and full price high street offer. Colin Brooks, managing director of the centre’s operator Realm, said: “There are suggestions that the sector is perhaps undervalued currently, but with its market value expected to grow by 35 per cent over the next three years, outlet centres will become an increasingly attractive asset class.”


Online retailers turn to showrooming Pure-play online retailers are increasingly turning to physical stores as the rate of internet sales growth slows, according to new research from Colliers International. The agent predicts that the growth rate for e-commerce sales will slow from today’s 11 per cent to 7 per cent by 2023. Online retailers are reacting to this trend by ‘showrooming’ – using physical stores to reinforce customer loyalty. For example the French online fashion brand Sézane has opened physical stores in Paris and New York and now has a pop-up store on London’s South Molton Street. At the same time a growing number of brands such as Samsung, Dyson and Volkswagen which previously sold through stockists but are now looking to go direct to the consumer through their own store networks. Paul Souber, co-head EMEA retail at Colliers said: “The trend is also driven by cost considerations: it’s not uncommon for 40 per cent of online fashion orders to be returned by the customer without making a purchase. This is imposing a huge logistical and cost burden on the online brands.”

Independent retailer profile – Mobile Xtras Ten years ago Singh Ab was asked by a friend to come on board to assist with launching a mobile kiosk in Scotland. Very soon Singh was responsible for recruitment, sourcing new venues and training staff and after eight years of working for someone else, decided to launch his own mobile kiosk business. In 2015 Singh launched Mobile Xtras at Oak Mall

in Greenock. As the director of the business, Singh is responsible for looking at new opportunities and staffing and says: “I need to keep up to date with new trends, phone models, software and repair techniques, in order to offer a full range to customers. As a small business, I have found that one of the challenging things is recruiting hardworking, reliable staff. Ensuring that I have the right staff, giving them

the training that they need and incentivising them means that staff are happy and work well. Retaining them once I have them on board is as important as finding the right staff in the first place, and means that the business will flourish.” Singh continued ‘I am based in Glasgow, so Greenock was the ideal first location for me. I approached Space to trade in 2015 regarding launching my business at Oak Mall and my dedicated Account Manager, Lynn Carmichael was instrumental in making this happen. She also helped me to open a second unit at Castlegate shopping centre in Stockton-on-Tees in September this year. Working with Lynn has been a benefit, she has helped put together proposals for other venues and we are currently looking at locations across the whole of the UK. My goal is to open successful kiosks nationally.’ So what advice would Singh offer other independent traders? “My advice would be to believe in yourself and do your best,” he said. “Ensure that you surround yourself with reliable hard-working people and don’t be afraid to take risks. Nothing in this life is handed to us on a plate and your will never get anywhere in business without taking a few risks.” DECEMBER 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE | 33


Looking for loyalty

Technology can drive customer loyalty, says Gwen Youlden Customer loyalty is a term that crops up in most asset strategies. It goes without saying that everyone wants a loyal customer base, but competition is increasingly fierce in today’s changing landscape. In a world of ever-improving variety and choice, what can we do to attract shoppers to spend their precious pounds in our centres and how can we measure whether our actions are assisting us in achieving our goals? Last quarter, my colleague Charlotte Crawley discussed customer experience and the critical importance of listening to our customers and reacting to their feedback. Cushman & Wakefield has worked hard to introduce initiatives for reviewing customer insight and using this additional information to continually adapt our management strategies, recognising that positive customer experiences drive loyalty and spend. However, customer expectations continue to rise and people want experiences tailored specifically to them. In retail marketing, data facilitates these unique marketing opportunities. Used correctly, this data can be used in campaigns to successfully influence visits and spend by tapping into customers’ interests and pre-empting their requirements. At a time where budgets are under continued scrutiny, data can also be used to justify strategic decisions and demonstrate a tangible return on investment for both landlords and retailers. Although the situation is rapidly improving, centre management teams have historically collated data in its most basic form. They knew they needed to be doing it, but there wasn’t the sophistication and insight available to create tailored customer 34 | SHOPPING CENTRE DECEMBER 2017

communications and experiences. Now, intelligent platforms are available that allow us to continually develop customer profiles based on their interactions with our centre. Even so, with numerous touchpoints between the two, it’s still very difficult to successfully analyse how our marketing efforts are impacting loyalty. We recently carried out some research across a number of our managed centres in an attempt to gain additional insight. The findings reinforced that where we had a strong local audience, customers were most interested in offers, coupons and discounts via a personalised loyalty scheme and identified a mobile app as the best way to do this. The research results sparked an interesting debate. As a marketer, I have long avoided mobile apps having seen too many of them fail for lack of engaging content and retailer commitment. Nonetheless, with consumers’ increased reliability on the internet and their mobile phones, they seem to be an obvious marketing tool. From a management perspective, the additional data insights that can be obtained from the use of such a platform are fantastic for both ourselves and our retailers, allowing us to gauge information including frequency and duration of visit, predicted spend and more. It also allows for further tailored messages and content for customers. Perhaps the focus had been on launching an app for the sake of having an app and being one of the first to utilize a new platform where the customer experience wasn’t as seamless as it should have been and the budget investment unsustainable. The app wasn’t the problem, it was the way it was delivered. With continual advancements in technology

improving the capabilities of such platforms and making their delivery more cost effective, maybe we should be reconsidering their use in shopping centres but putting our customers, both shoppers and tenants, at the heart of their development. A starting point may be reallocating marketing budget against rewards and discounts and building a better working relationship with our retailer counterparts to secure increased regional marketing support from head office.

Gwen Youlden is head of retail marketing & commercialisation, asset services, at Cushman & Wakefield

SHOPPINGCENTRE Features Schedule 2018 January



Sustainability Efficient energy and waste management 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 Christmas Planning ahead for a successful festive season 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

IAIN HOEY Editorial Assistant 07757 946414

TRUDY WHISTON Sales Manager 01293 416090






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Feast of Fire in Milton Keynes 10,000 people gathered in Milton Keynes city centre for Feast of Fire, an extraordinary evening of fire, theatre, dance and music created by outdoor arts experts ‘Walk the Plank’. The event, part sponsored by centre:mk, featured memorable performances including drummers from the Dhol Academy, Indian dance from Pagrav Dance and the opening show of Spellbound, a large-scale shadow play. People were guided along centre:mk’s Midsummer Boulevard by fire and light from Walk the Plank’s

flaming torches, fiery braziers, fire-belching sculptures and candles alongside live music from cellist and guitarist Vania Dombrovsky. The line-up was complemented by street food traders, a People’s Procession, fireworks and a DJ set. Kevin Duffy, centre director at centre:mk said:

“We are proud to be part of such a memorable and successful event. The climax of the night was the announcement of Milton Keynes’ bid to be European Capital of Culture 2023. The Feast of Fire was a unique event to celebrate the city’s 50th birthday and to look ahead to its future.”

Victoria Gate wins MAPIC Award Hammerson’s Victoria Gate in Leeds has won the Best New Shopping Centre category at the annual MAPIC Awards, held each year at the MAPIC retail property show in Cannes, France. The scheme beat strong competition from Mall of Qatar in Al Rayyan, Qatar; Posnania in Poznan, Poland and Rive Gauche in Charleroi, Belgium. A hugely experienced awards jury headed once again by Primark group director of property, Tom Meager, and drawn from all areas of the retail world and all corners of the globe made the final decision for the best-in-class of 2017.


Allies return to Bond Street Lawrence Holofcener’s sculpture Allies, featuring bronze figures of Sir Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt engaged in conversation, has been reinstated on London’s New Bond Street after being removed for restoration. The unveiling of “Allies” marks the completion of phase one of the Bond Street public realm works, which will radically transform the streetscape and form part of a £10m investment package by Westminster City Council and New West End Company, alongside the Bond Street brands. The life-size public work of Churchill and Roosevelt became a popular landmark after it was given a permanent home on Bond Street in 1995 to mark 50 years of peace since the end of World War II. It cleverly illustrates the relationship between the wartime Prime Minister and US President as one not

of politics, but of camaraderie. NWEC chief executive Jace Tyrrell said “The restoration of this well-loved sculpture is part of an ambitious vision for London’s West End due for completion in late 2018 in time for the opening of Crossrail.”


This month’s moves . . . CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD has recruited KEVIN FARROW as head of UK retail occupier agency. Previously senior director at CBRE, he has more than 35 years’ retail experience, focused largely on the premium, luxury and international retail sectors.

MCARTHURGLEN has appointed TOM ENRAGHT-MOONY as chief customer officer. He has more than 15 years’ experience in driving business transformation and growth at tech-enabled consumer brands, most recently as chief executive officer at the Leisure Pass group.

MANCHESTER ROYAL EXCHANGE has appointed JEFF JACKSON as its new building manager. After serving 22 years in the British Army he began as facilities manager of a centre in Essex and went on to manage shopping centres in East London and North West London before moving north.

SAVILLS has appointed GARY LEE as national car park manager. He joins from APCOA Parking UK where he was responsible for central parking at Heathrow Airport. Prior to this he was car park and travel manager at Westfield London.

SPINNING GATE shopping centre in Leigh has appointed KAREN COX as centre manager. Her 20-year career in the shopping centre industry began at the Galleries shopping centre in Wigan before moving to intu Trafford Centre. ORCHARD STREET INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT has appointed MARK LONG as head of strategy. He spent the past five years as head of EMEA real assets research & strategy at BlackRock and prior to that was at at Aberdeen Asset Management and Invista Real Estate Investment Management. NEIL ASHCROFT has joined Liverpool’s ST JOHNS SHOPPING CENTRE as centre manager. His retail career began at TJ Hughes before moving Debenhams and New Look before a move into centre management at New Mersey shopping park. SAVILLS has bolstered its national retail agency team with the appointment of ISLA MONTEITH who joins as a director in the firm’s Edinburgh office. She has 15 year’s experience in the retail property market, most recently as a partner at Cushman & Wakefield in Edinburgh. COYOTE, the real estate software company, has appointed JOHNNIE SIMS as head of client services. He joins from M7 Real Estate, where he was an investment manager for the past five years. HARPER DENNIS HOBBS has appointed ALISTAIR KNIGHT as head of rating services. His team will deal with rating appeals and rates mitigation on all types of commercial property countrywide.

LGIM REAL ASSETS has promoted SIMON RUSSIAN to head of retail, leading an established team of 30 retail specialists. RICHARD POYSER will take the lead on leasing for Legal & General’s large retail projects; GREG WESTOVER will take responsibility for the digital and PAUL CHESTER the experiential elements of L&G’s retail schemes. KLM RETAIL has appointed OLI MARCROFT to the retail and leisure team as an associate partner. He has over seven years of experience working in the out of town and leisure sectors at King Sturge and JLL. ANDY WRIGHT is returning to SPACEANDPEOPLE as an account director – client services. He was a key member of the SpaceandPeople retail and brand experience teams for over six years. FAWCETT MEAD has appointed ED KIEVENAAR as a senior investment analyst. He joins from Vixcroft where he focussed on convenience/community shopping centres and was previously an investment analyst with HSBC. REDEFINE INTERNATIONAL has appointed LIZ PEACE as an independent non-executive director. She spent 13 years as CEO of the British Property Federation and currently acts as chairman of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporations. RYAN CASEY has been appointed as manager of the RIVERSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE in Erith, Kent. He takes on the role after 17 years with H Samuel, most recently as store manager at Surrey Quays, south east London. HRH RETAIL has recruited graduate JACK BROWN. He recently graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BSc (Hons) in property finance and investment after completing a placement year within the asset management team of AXA Investment Managers.


Shopping centre magazine december 2017  
Shopping centre magazine december 2017