By Justin Taylor, Head of EMEA Retail Services
The annual retail property pilgrimage to MAPIC at Cannes in the south of France is a chance to take stock. Getting out of the UK for a few days, talking to colleagues from all over the world, meeting with landlords and retailers; it’s a chance to see how far we’ve come in a year, what the big emerging trends are and where we are headed. But we’re not just there to keep our fingers on the pulse; we’re part of defining and shaping the cutting edge of retail space.
Watch what Justin has to say on the evolution of the retail sector:
I was asked what I thought were the key developments in shopping centres and high streets. Without a doubt, curation and placemaking are two of the new defining principles. Gone are the days when a landlord can get by on the minimum. Gone are the days when shoppers will visit a shopping centre that doesn’t have something extra to convince customers to make the trip, (for example a unique experience, offer, or benefit to them to come in store).
This is absolutely key for landlords seeking to enhance their brand and add value to their assets. For every location this will mean something different. All landlords will need to work hard to understand what their centre needs, and what the local area and shoppers need from them in order to build community loyalty.
We have seen a number of mixed use schemes completed in the last few years that have been successful in becoming part of the fabric of their local neighbourhood. They are not only able to attract locals and domestic visitors, but also tourists from all over the world who want to experience these unique destinations. They typically owe their success to a carefully considered retail strategy with a strong tenant mix offering the right occupiers for the target markets. Equally important are strong placemaking initiatives to define these new destinations as the place to visit, shop, dine and interact.
Sure, the retail property sector has its challenges. But as we have seen with the likes of Amazon, or even Alibaba, who are increasingly relying on physical space to give their digital brand a presence, people still value the social and experiential aspect of shopping. The job we all have now is to give them exactly what they want and more.
Justin Taylor is Head
of EMEA Retail Services.