The decision by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to impose a Grade II listing on thecentre:mk, despite intensive lobbying by the centre’s owners and the wider retail and property industries, underlines the complex and at times uneasy role malls play in our towns.

Landlords and tenants attempted to bridge the divide at a round table lunch hosted by Realservice, reports Sean Kelly

I never thought I’d be raving about a hospital but after hearing great things about CircleBath I hit the M4 to see for myself. CircleBath has reinvented the patient experience to the extent that you’d think you were living it up in a plush hotel rather than enduring a stint in hospital.

The Mall Blackburn is coming to the end of a £60m refurbishment and extension.

Out-of-hours cleaning is no longer an option in some shopping centres, forcing cleaning contractors to change their working practices

ServiceMaster Clean is undertaking a highly specialised cleaning role at Westfield Derby

The new “M” Class range of rotowash machines brings new levels of productivity to the challenging shopping centre market. Advanced technology and superb build quality ensure that these powerful machines will go on and on cleaning and drying even the most difficult floors and carpets.

Evidence of a slowdown in the recovery of retail property markets is becoming increasingly apparent. According to IPD’s Monthly Market Segments, capital value growth across all retail property segments in May was just 0.52 per cent, the lowest rate of monthly growth since August 2009.

ABERDEEN

MCARTHURGLEN has appointed JAMES LINDSAY as centre manager for its York Designer Outlet. He has worked for some of the biggest names in the industry including Warner Estate, Westfield, the Trafford Centre and Meadowhall. At the same time KENNY MURRAY is promoted from retail manager at the Ashford outlet to centre manager at the East Midlands outlet. RICHARD GARRATT transfers from his role as centre manager at East Midlands to centre manager for the Bridgend outlet, taking over from DAVID NORRIS, who is to expand his role as McArthurGlen’s group operations director.

Castlepoint shopping centre in Bournemouth celebrated its Come Shopping at Castlepoint Race Day at Salisbury racecourse by flying two shoppers to the course. Sylvia Mosheim, who was judged to be the most stylish and best dressed woman at Castlepoint’s Ladies Day in March, flew by helicopter from Bournemouth International Airport to the course as part of the competition package.   Sylvia, and her daughter Jasmine, were first driven from their home in Southbourne in a limo to the airport before the 20 minute flight, accompanied by Katie Wilson from the Dorset Junior chamber and Castlepoint’s general manager Peter Matthews. They were then able to enjoy lunch and an afternoon of racing. The prize also included £250 clothes voucher to be spent at Castlepoint, a pamper day and also an evening meal at the Village Hotel after the return flight.  “We have never had the chance to visit the race course and have never flown over Dorset before by helicopter so it was a very enjoyable day out,” said Sylvia Mosheim

Wimbledon came to the North West this year, thanks to a recreation of the All England Club at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet. Shoppers were able to watch matches from the tournament on a specially created turfed seating area, with a giant TV screen, a mini tennis court and the centre’s very own ‘Murray Mound’.

Customers at Birmingham’s One Stop Shopping Centre were able to take the weight off their feet at the end of June when the landlord laid on a fleet of  three–wheeled tuk tuks to celebrate the start of improvement works .

Mall activities like RMUs work best when centre managers buy fully into the concept, and their enthusiasm permeates down through the entire centre team, according to RMU specialist Retail Profile’s Martin Kemp

Commercialisation can deliver strong returns for shopping centre owners, but industry experts point out that it’s not free money – landlords need to invest in both the physical infrastructure and in the management systems to make it happen.

With centres under pressure to increase their catering offers, a new RMU-style coffee bar could be the answer

Shopping centres in London, Leeds, Birmingham and Reading have hosted a new environmentally friendly service that aims to put £10m per year into shoppers’ pockets by 2012.

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