It’s no secret the retail sector is receiving press regarding the “challenging time” being had, with stories being released stating the market is on a ‘downwards trend’. However, underneath the headlines is an evolving market…
We recently attended Revo’s conference in Manchester and there was an abundance of positive trends, data and predictions shared. In addition, there are plenty of international retailers entering the UK and growing their presence including Away, Cabana, Empreinte and Stance. Furthermore, there is a significant number of refurbishments, extensions and developments on-going across the UK shopping centre market. All of this activity demonstrates the investment and growth in the sector, showing a strong and resilient market.
As the market evolves, consumers are expecting more from shopping centres and are visiting for an experience, not just to make a purchase. It is imperative all space is utilised to its full potential in order to drive footfall, meet consumer demands, maximise income and eradicate any threats. Pop-up shops, kiosks, digital media, sponsorship and promotions allow Landlords to quickly fill any gaps in a centre and ensure they are appealing to their local demographic, adding to the experience and delivering beyond expectations. This can add significant value to a property while enhancing the guest experience: both of which need to be maximised while the sector is going through a turning point.
Commercialisation allows retailers to react to trends quickly, introduce seasonal campaigns and allows new brands to test a market. Existing tenants can also benefit from space to build their presence and awareness at different points within a mall. The units deliver the opportunity to surprise and delight shoppers and diversify each visit, and if the pop-up’s interactive or includes an event or promotion, they can drastically increase dwell time.
The ICSC reported that UK Shopping Centre owners earn over £200 million from commercialisation, and that’s not when space has been fully utilised! Whether it’s leasing space to brands, running events or delivering advertising opportunities, there is value to add.
The market is going through a period of change and development, we’re seeing innovations, new technology and exciting experiences being implemented. The challenges the market is faced with all come with solutions, the market isn’t enduring a “downward trend”, it’s going through a period of evolvement with a truly innovative future ahead.