Liverpool ONE wins Supreme Award

Following a triumphant first year, BCSC awarded both Liverpool ONE and Westfield London with the Supreme Gold Award at Tuesday’s ceremony. This is the first time two in-town schemes have been joint-winners of the top honour.

The credit crunch has resulted in what could be a lag of around four years in sufficient levels of new retail development, according to new BCSC research.

A consortium has stepped in to complete the Trinity Walk development in Wakefield, which went into administration early this year. The 550,000 sq ft shopping centre is set to return on site by January 2010 thanks to a joint venture company comprising of Sovereign Land, AREA Property Partners and Shepherd Construction.

Belfast's Victoria Square

BDP, the interdisciplinary design practice behind Liverpool One, enjoyed double success at this year’s RICS Awards. Victoria Square in Belfast, part of BDP’s design portfolio, was awarded a Commendation in the Regeneration category after battling against 14 other shortlisted projects from around the UK.

TJ Hughes, the big brand discount retailer, has announced the opening of a new store in Walsall, just north of Birmingham. This will be the retailer’s third new opening in the Midlands, after stores in Hanley and another in Derby opened in September this year.

SouthGate, Bath opens its doors

The first phase of SouthGate, Bath’s £360m mixed-use scheme, opened on November 4 with 13 new stores. Around 80,000 shoppers paid a visit during the opening weekend, and retailers were delighted with the high levels of footfall and customer spend.

New figures from the Local Data Company show that 10 per cent of retailers closed between January and September this year. Out of 251,472 companies across more than 700 centres in the UK, 25,000 closed. Just under a third of these were London-based firms.

The grand opening of St David's 2

After ten years of planning and over £675m investment, St David’s 2 finally opened its doors to shoppers on 22 October. Although technically an expansion of the existing St David’s Centre, SD2 has transformed the city by introducing new brands, quality retail space and an estimated £250m new annual spend.

Experian's 2009 retail rankings show that despite the economic downturn, the large retail centres that have opened around the UK have delivered some very positive results. The most significant move was the in Cardiff, where the opening of St David’s 2 has seen the capital of Wales leap to sixth place in the rankings from 10th place last year.

The launch of BCSC’s commercialisation report – a joint effort with the PMA (Property Managers Association) – took place at this year’s BCSC conference to widespread acclaim. Consisting of 10 key recommendations for optimising commercialisation opportunities, Mall Commercialisation - An Introductory Guide for Retailers and Property Professionals is directed at landlords but fundamentally encourages a stronger relationship between management and retailers.

At times like this, shopping centres are often stuck in a catch-22. On the one hand, landlords with vacant units need to supplement their income by charging for events. On the other, cash-strapped shoppers need more encouragement than ever to part with their cash. But is driving footfall and sales revenue in the long-term becoming important than events that generate direct income?

The gift card industry has seen radical changes over the past decade. Initially seen as a commercialisation initiative, it now comes firmly within the marketing manager’s remit, according to Sue Boor, PruPIM’s head of shopping centre marketing.

This time last year, the UK retail market was in turmoil. Future plans became uncertain, shoppers reined in their spending and weaker retailers went into administration. Twelve months on, the impact of recession has changed the outlook of landlords and retailers. Commercialisation over the upcoming Christmas period is a good indicator of where retailers see themselves now, and the current level of confidence as Britain enters the final quarter of 2009.

Irreverent card chain, Scribbler, has taken up two prime leases on the Scottish High Street. The London-based greetings card chain has invested £200,000 in the launch of stores on Glasgow and Edinburgh's busiest shopping streets.

Arnotts has reworked its Henry Street project that aims to provide the historic Dublin department store with new premises alongside a new city centre retail mall. A decision on its latest planning application is expected before the end of the year, but the new project sees the 315,000-sq ft anchor street relocated to a standalone building at the junction of Abbey Street and Liffey Street, . This important change clears the way for a new street that will lead right through the site from O'Connell Street to Liffey Street, where it will emerge directly opposite Marks & Spencer.

Marks & Spencer has given its seal of approval to Chartered Land's plans to create a massive retail destination at Swords Pavilions in North Dublin, by inking a deal that will create its biggest store in Ireland at 14,000 sq m.

While few, if any, retail markets across the globe have escaped the recession unscathed, the Irish retail market remains particularly fragile. The latest data from the Central Statistics Office shows that Ireland’s annual retail sales fell by 9 per cent in the year to August 2009. But according to a bi-monthly research report provided by CBRE, things are continuing to move tentatively forward.

Jones Lang LaSalle has announced today that Robert Bonwell, who has been focused on retail and corporate work, is to take on a newly created dedicated role as CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle’s EMEA Retail Business.

At 2,000 per sq m per annum, Russia and the United Kingdom command the highest prime shopping centre rents in Europe, according to new research released today at MAPIC by Jones Lang LaSalle. A Prime Shopping Centre Rents in Europe* map, produced in co-operation with many of the largest shopping centre owners and managers in Europe, gives an overview of prime shopping centre rental levels together with short term growth prospects for 17 European countries.

Marc Bolland has been appointed new chief executive of Marks & Spencer, over the company's internal hopefuls John Dixon and Ian Dyson.

Hamleys opening at St Enoch

The first wave of retailers opened today at Glasgow’s St Enoch centre, with several brands making their debut in the city. The much-anticipated opening of Hamleys toy store kicked off proceedings, with a 30,000-sq ft unit marking the brand’s first standalone store outside of London.

Manchester is launching its biggest ever Christmas marketing campaign, valued at over £600,000, to attract shoppers to the city over the festive period. The campaign will emphasize the retail and leisure offer available using poster, press and TV advertising and specially designed maps highlighting the city’s six shopping districts.

The £24m Eat Central scheme

Westfield’s £24m foodcourt development opened on 22 October at Merry Hill shopping centre in the West Midlands. Eat Central boasts a range of national and international retailers including Nandos, Pizza Express and Napoli, and has created 200 permanent jobs in the area.

Land Securities is offering retailers a new lease that sets out monthly rents and transparent terms. Clearlet, which will be rolled out across Land Securities’ retail portfolio, hopes to end feuds by abolishing premium charges on monthly rent payments.

Portillo at the BCSC conference

Speaking at the BCSC conference, former Cabinet Minister Michael Portillo listed some of the Conservative party’s proposals that are likely to have a major impact on retail and retail property after the next election. And he warned that the economic storm is far from over.

Ken Ford, executive director at Capital & Regional, welcomed the move towards more flexible leases, and said that he had no desire to force reluctant retailers to keep trading. “I want volunteers, not conscripts, in the battle for market share,” he said.

The Mission at The Oracle, Reading

The Oracle in Reading celebrated its 10th anniversary at the end of September 2009. In those 10 years, it has established itself and Reading as the regional shopping and leisure destination in the Thames Valley. Its design and configuration has enabled it to become the heart of Reading City Centre, with its linkage to Broad Street, and the clustering of substantial food and leisure on both sides of the River Kennet.

MadisonSoho managing partner John White delivered a piece of research arguing that brands – and by extension shopping centres – are going to have to change the way they communicate with their audiences, who will no longer be receptive to the old messages.

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