Does new technology mean the end for the traditional car park barrier?

Keeping shopping centre car parks in good condition is a great way to improve customer experience and increase loyalty in a lean time when keeping customers coming back is vital to revenue streams. Refurbishments also help to save on future maintenance costs and ensure the car park is safe. So, what products and services are available to prevent the deterioration of car parks? And what are the best practices for keeping car parks in top condition?

Few shopping centres run their own car parks but it is becoming more common. Should centre owners consider taking the management of their car parks in-house? And what are the benefits of doing so?

Manned guarding is an essential aspect of mall security. But centres are involving another set of eyes and ears: those of the retailers themselves.

This month’s publication of the Retail Crime Survey 2009 has revealed the true impact of recession on UK crime levels

UK Commercial Property Trust and Shearer Property Group have started work on the redevelopment of the former Bhs store in Bridge Street, Swindon. The 80,000 sq ft project has already secured pre-lettings to Bhs, Top Shop and River Island.

Capital Shopping Centres has successfully refinanced its flagship asset, the 1.4m-sq ft Lakeside Shopping Centre in Thurrock. A consortium of seven banks has advanced a new seven-year, £525m loan.

The UK is officially out of recession, with the final three months of 2009 showing positive growth after six straight quarters of decline.

Yesterday’s BCSC President’s Lunch, held at BAFTA in Piccadilly, saw Cadena’s retail guru Neil Varnham take up the presidency for 2010. After accepting the mantel from former president Jeremy Collins, he spoke of the “significant challenges in the economy and shopping centre industry”.

Food operator Nandos has chosen the recently extended St Enoch Centre to open its first Glasgow-based restaurant. Fashion retailer Xile and designer jeweller Ortak are also taking units at the 765,000-sq ft scheme.

Is it time for centre owners to take a fresh look at total facilities management?

Cosy Camper has been a fixture on the music festival scene for 15 years, and now it is trading from shopping centres

Three teams from thecentre:mk have travelled 3,000 miles in the Ramshackle Rally, raising over £12,000 for the Ark Charity in Milton Keynes

Eastgate shopping centre in Inverness will soon have a ‘model’ manager when Jackie Cuddy swaps the centre for the catwalk in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

New data shows retail vacancy rates are still on the increase, and the north of the country is suffering more than the south

Anne Rush, Capital & Regional’s national property manager, is making the leap from the client side to consultancy as she joins Cushman & Wakefield as a partner in its expanding retail asset management team

Coverpoint’s Jonathan Doughty serves up his regular shopping centre foodservice review. This month he travels to Slovakia to visit Leblon at the new Galleria Eurovea in Bratislava.

Thgis month's market moves

H & M has agreed terms on a new 19,000-sq ft store in Lord’s Square, The Mall, Blackburn.

In a first for the UK, customers visiting Freshney Place in Grimsby are being treated to an eclectic art exhibition featuring some of the world’s most famous artists.

Is the end in sight for clamping on private land? And if it is, what other enforcement measures can centres take?

New technology is transforming parking payment systems, with a plethora of competing solutions. WPS remains a firm advocate of the humble barcode

John Beardall has retired from his position as centre manager of The Piazza, Huddersfield after nearly 18 years. Beardall was actively involved in town centre events and charity fundraising organisations. Managing agent CB Richard Ellis has appointed Vernon O’Reilly as his replacement.

Workman Retail in Bristol has appointed John Grinnell to manage The Shires shopping centre in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Grinnell managed The Podium Shopping Centre, Bath for the last five years and was chairman of Bath Retail.

Gallions Reach Shopping Park in Beckton has appointed Catherine Goddard as its new centre manager. She joins the shopping park from London City Airport, where she worked as commercial development manager.

AFC Group has welcomed Julie Hulme to the senior management team as commercial director. Hulme has over 18 years’ experience in the security and soft services industry. She has worked at Reliance Security in a number of senior sales roles including regional sales manager. Hulme will be responsible for managing all aspects of the sales process within the group.

Land Securities and Henderson's plans for a major extension to the Buchanan Galleries centre in Glasgow have moved a step closer with the city council's decision to back an application for Tax Increment Funding to support the project.

Salford City Council planners have unanimously approved a muli-million pound scheme to regenerate a 17.4 ha area in the heart of the city centre.

Cardiff Airport has announced plans to extend its main terminal building, with added retail and restaurant space in a bit to improve the facility.

Commercial real estate consultant Colliers CRE will post a full year operating loss despite a strong final quarter.

Land Securities has agreed construction contracts for three schemes as part of a £655m West End development programme, including a prominent development on Oxford Street.

Town centre retail in Maidenhead, Berkshire, will be in for a major revamp and extension under a new masterplan unveiled by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.

Despite the savage recession, the overall shopping centre development pipeline is only 6.3 per cent lower than at this time last year, according to new research from Colliers CRE.

In King Sturge’s annual Property Predictions, the consultancy’s head of retail, Charles Miller, forecast that vacancy rates would recover from their nadir of around 20 per cent to around 10-12 per cent by the end of 2010.

Jonathan Doughty and Mark Rumfitt are chairing this year's BCSC Shopping Centre Managers' conference.

Jonathan Doughty serves up his monthly shopping centre catering review. This month he visits Aiso at MyZeil in Frankfurt.

Chris Igwe, head of retail at CBRE France, gave the final keynote address at Mapic in Cannes.

The Government released its long-awaited revisions to the Planning Policy Statement 4 (PPS4) planning guidance note between Christmas and the New Year, traditionally seen by civil servants as a time to bury bad news. But far from proving controversial, the new guidance has been broadly welcomed.

QS was once a Marks & Spencer manufacturer that sold surplus stock and seconds under the Quality Seconds fascia. But by the 1990s retailing had become its main activity with a nationwide portfolio trading from mainly secondary locations.

The children’s industry has always maintained a steadfast audience, and shopping centres are in a position to benefit from having great family appeal.

Centre managers are using major UK brand names in the fight generate much-needed income. But innovation is key if brand promotions are going to work well

HMV Group has replaced the managing director of its bookselling business Waterstone’s, describing the business’s recent performance as “unsatisfactory”.

Blacks Leisure, the specialist retailer in outdoor clothing and equipment, has announced plans to expand despite recently shedding a number of loss-making stores.

Brandspace, the subsidiary of out-of-home media specialist Promotion Space Group, has won exclusive rights to manage all promotional and experiential marketing for the UK’s largest landlord, Capital Shopping Centres.

Procurement work on a £275m shopping centre in Stoke-on-Trent is due to begin after a development agreement was signed at the end of last year.

Hammerson has taken over The Rock shopping centre development in Bury, Lancashire after its previous developer Thornfield Ventures Limited (TVL) went into administration earlier this week.

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