Retail Really Does Matter

The fresh and modern re-brand of the BCSC has had such a positive reception all round! Revo has set it’s sights high and is looking to continuously drive retail throughout the UK real estate market in partnership with industry leading businesses. Revo are looking to be a proactive sector leader that is forward-thinking and progressive in all forms – we are very much looking forward to being part of what’s to come!

The Retail Matters event started on Wednesday with an opportunity to mingle but more importantly, to have a couple of wines after a long day in office! The turnout was excellent and there was the opportunity to speak with various well-known and influential names in the retail real estate industry as well as some of the up and coming retail stars of the future.

With the idea of planning something different and contrasting to the usual debate exercise, Revo came up with an initiative of having 4 teams from competing businesses;JLL, Wembley Park, Hammerson and intu Properties, to take part in a quiz show with Revo’s Chief Executive, Edward Cooke, as the quizmaster.

With an excessive amount of competition in the air, questions were fired – all things shopping centres. The nerves and the need to succeed were apparent on everyone’s faces – I was regretting not throwing my hat in the ring to be on a team! Following an intense first round with questions regarding sq ft, the most southern centre, centres beginning with the letter Q and even “how many tiles were laid on the floor in The Mall Maidstone?”, JLL and Wembley Park were knocked out of the race, leaving the final stretch of the competition to Hammerson and intu.

The final round included a scenario where participants were tasked with designing the layout of a shopping centre in a resort town with a large university nearby and a vast demographic of predominantly 55+ year olds. With the choice of a variety of anchor tenants including John Lewis, Debenhams, M&S and H&M as well as the choice between common themes in new and existing schemes UK wide, the possibilities were endless!

Hammerson pitched their ideas first to an established panel of shopping centre and retail experts; they went with seaside development with Debenhams as the anchor as well as a brewery, bars and clubs to attract the student population. The diagram was particularly impressive with a dodgy stick man cycling down the promenade which, for me, was a real unique selling point.

On to intu with their “intu the sea” idea with an open scheme making the most of the Victorian heritage they had imagined in the resort town. An emphasis was on customer experience via a strong leisure offering with multiple F&B units and a large cinema as well as retail. So, which brand did they choose for their scheme? You guessed it – Debenhams!

The panel took the decision very seriously and had a debate between themselves as to which team should be crowned champion. The vote went in favour of Hammerson giving them a resounding win over a very disappointed intu team.

The atmosphere throughout the event had a real buzz about it and everyone was keen to network, share ideas and learn from each other so that, as a collective, we can drive the retail evolution!

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