Westfield has finally opened its London mall at Shepherd's Bush in West London amid unprecedented media hype. More than 160,000 shoppers flocked to the new megamall on day one, and half a million had visited by the end of the first weekend.

John Lewis is to open its first department store outside the UK following a deal with Joe O'Reilly's Chartered Land to anchor its 1.7 million-sq ft Dublin Central scheme on O'Connell Street in Dublin city centre.

Multi Development's 600,000-sq ft Summer Row development in Wolverhampton has taken a significant step forward with the signing of Marks & Spencer as a second anchor store alongside Debenhams. Marks & Spencer will occupy a 97,000-sq ft store over three levels in the iconic building to be located at the junction of Temple Street, Cleveland Street and Snow Hill.

Elements Square, the £130m extension to the Almondvale shopping centre at Livingston in Scotland opened on Thursday 16 October. At the same time the whole complex has been renamed The Centre.

Over 2 million shoppers have visited Cabot Circus in its first full month of trading. The £500m scheme, developed by Bristol Alliance partners Land Securities and Hammerson, has attracted an average weekly footfall of 500,000 since opening on September 25.

Five new occupiers have signed up for space at Capital & Regional's Xscape Castleford.

The redevelopment vision for the Buchanan Galleries shopping centre in Glasgow has moved a step closer to realisation with two major milestones.

The UK has enjoyed record new retail development in 2008 but it could not have come at a more challenging time for retailers, with many destinations facing problems of over-capacity, according to the latest retail ranking report from Experian. The report provides comprehensive analysis and comment on the best performing retail centres in the UK and also attempts to predict the future landscape with a forecast to 2018. According to Jonathan De Mello, director of retail consultancy at Experian, "The quality and volume of new retail space has advanced a number of shopping destinations in the 2008 Experian rankings, but the combination of new schemes and dampening consumer demand has put intense pressure on retailer margins."

In many ways the man at the helm of Land Securities, the bellwether of the property industry, is always going to be the public face of the sector, just as Sir Stuart Rose is the face of British retail. But this year Francis Salway has taken on an even more public role as president of the British Property Federation.

UK consumers may be cutting back on their spending habits but if the financial results at Thorntons are anything to go by, the chocolate business is one area that is not suffering the effects of the credit crunch.

I was particularly struck by a brief speech Glenn Aaronson, chief executive of Multi Development, made in London last month. He said that we will only survive the unprecedented storm now battering us if we stick together. It was a salutary message at a time when banks are stabbing borrowers in the back, when landlords and tenants are at each others' throats. But the fact that he felt it necessary to speak in such terms at what should have been a time of celebration - Multi Development UK's fifth birthday - made me realise that we really are in a crisis.

Another month, another new landmark shopping centre opening. Following hot on the heels of Highcross, Leicester, Cabot Circus, Bristol, and Liverpool One, the end of October saw the doors open in the much-publicised Westfield London development in Shepherd's Bush. At 1.6 million sq ft, the development represents the largest in-city shopping centre in Europe, with foodservice accounting for a significant proportion of prime space.

KLM's Howard Morgan opened the discussion by pointing out that the economic downturn was putting strain on landlord and tenant relationships at a time when they need to work together even more than ever. He began by asking the two retailers present for their view of the market.

The league table of the UK's top shopping centres has seen considerable change over the past year, according to the latest edition of Going Shopping - The Definitive Guide to Shopping Centres, recently published by Trevor Wood Associates.

With the ever-present threat of terrorist action, of which we have seen examples only too recently, planning for the unexpected forms part of the essential management of any large site or building, in particular where considerable numbers of people may be gathered.

Croydon in south London is officially the worst location for stock loss or 'shrinkage' caused by theft, according to the Retail Loss Prevention Fashion Forum.

Vertical circulation has played a huge part in a number of this year's multi-level shopping centre developments. Cabot Circus in Bristol, Liverpool One and Westfield London are among the schemes that have managed to make features out of their stairs, ramps, lifts, escalators and bridges that link one level to the next.

Having been retained by Guarding UK in March to assist in growing their business in the shopping centre and related markets, I took a pace back to investigate what people in all parts of the shopping centre industry - operators, managers and owners - really want from a security provider.

JONES LANG LASALLE has appointed JAMES DOLPHIN as its new head of European retail agency. He will lead a team of over 400 retail experts across the region, offering cross-border retail advice to international occupiers, investors and developers.

Budding young environmentalists from schools in 20 major towns and cities across the UK are set to receive valuable lessons in going green and how to help save the planet's rainforests. This is thanks to a new resource pack for schools, launched in October by EnviroMall, a partnership between the UK's leading owner and operator of town centre community shopping centres - The Mall - and a group of environmental experts.

There was dancing in the aisles at the East Kilbride shopping centre when a host of top dance stars kept shoppers of all ages enthralled during October.

Martin Harris, the founder of the UK charity 'Follow your Dreams', which depends largely on shopping centres around Britain to raise funds and awareness for children with special needs, has just won an award from the Special Olympics, an event that celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

Surrey Quays shopping centre is celebrating its 20th birthday. Built on the site of what was once one of the world's busiest docks, the shopping centre first opened its doors in October 1988 and became a new landmark on the Rotherhithe peninsula in London's Docklands.

Steve Andrews, deputy centre manager at the Hildreds shopping centre in Skegness, walked over hot coals measuring up to 860 degrees to raise money for the Butterfly Hospice in Boston, Lincolnshire.

Retail interest is continuing to gather pace at Clyde shopping centre despite the economic difficulties that are affecting lettings at other centres in Scotland, and the 782,000-sq ft centre in Clydebank has managed to secure a number of new lettings in recent months.

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