Posted by: Victoria Gould
Director, Retail Agency UK
I start the main day at BCSC with a hearty breakfast, a bucket of coffee and the exciting news that we are on the verge of another two great brands for Standard Life Investments and Shearer Property Group’s Parkway Newbury – the third and final shopping centre to open in 2011.
So far so good – Parkway is bucking the shopping centre leasing market trend because it is the right size and scale for a market town and provides the appropriate blended tenant mix to meet the demands of the affluent demographic profile of West Berkshire. The future development pipeline is looking bleak – funding constraints, rapidly fluctuating capital values and an uncertain occupier market mean that only a handful of schemes on the horizon in 2000 will actually come to fruition. 2012 is looking very desolate, with the Land Securities development, Leeds Trinity being the bright spot of 2013.
We are looking at creative routes to providing new market channels and I am buzzing with news of our latest instruction – we are strategic and leasing advisors to the new owners of Gatwick Airport. I could bore you senseless with the facts and figures in terms of footfall, dwell time, number of passengers through security etc, but what retailers want to know (if they are not used to airport retailing) is what densities can they achieve and what is the best trading format to achieve and exceed these densities. Retailers that already trade from airports make out that it is a very complicated process and only specialist operators can actually make it work – this is a fallacy – they are just trying to keep one of retail ‘s best kept secrets - [ it is not hard and ] there is a huge captive audience with money to spend on products and services that they probably wouldn’t normally buy or use. Airports are the shopping centres of the future and we can’t wait to get started!