Tell us about your previous career experience and how you came to be in the shopping centre industry.
Starting off in pubs and bars, I gained a fast introduction to both people management and high-pressure environments. As I became more experienced I moved into the corporate side of the business, which then led me onto managing two leisure orientated properties in London. As time passed and I grew my skills and experience I developed into a commercial property FM, and finally my first shopping centre, Lion Walk in Colchester.
What are your interests outside of work?
With two young children at home, it’s more about the interests that I used to have outside of work!
The same as anyone else I enjoy a good book, film or play, but my passion is for SCUBA diving. I’ve dived in South Africa, New Zealand, the South China Sea and Brighton, and love every minute I’m under water. You can’t get much further ‘away from it all’.
What are your future plans?
I am still early on in this part of my career, so I’m looking to build again on the experience and lead on either a much larger centre or to move into a regional management role.
Can you give a brief market update?
The future of bricks vs clicks needs to be viewed in terms of a blending of the two commerce streams rather than competition. Shopping centres are in a key position to develop and offer a service that Online Only can’t compete with outside of large conurbations.
The Achilles heel of Online Only is the time from click to receipt of goods.
With the geographical spread of shopping centres, we have the potential to develop a system so that as people select their delivery address and if it is within a set geographical distance from the centre, they will be offered the choice of having it in their hands within the hour.
Online ordering systems are advanced enough for each retailer to offer this, and the economies of scale with the number of retailers in a shopping centre make it affordable for the centre to act as the operator of the operational side of the system.
Peter Scopes, Lion Walk Shopping Centre Manager, Colchester