In one of the biggest-ever shopping centre sales a joint venture between Apollo Real Estate and Hark Group has acquired the 1million-sq ft Telford shopping centre from Universities Superannuation Scheme for £442m. This reflects a net initial yield of 4.86 per cent.

Debenhams has agreed to take the 93,000-sq ft anchor store at The Oval, Discovery Properties' 394,000-sq ft shopping and leisure scheme in Darlington. The retailer has signed a new 25-year lease and plans to open in autumn 2010.

Princesshay, Land Securities' 480,000 sq ft retail-led project in Exeter, is now 80 per cent pre-let ahead of its autumn opening following eight new lettings.

Urban regeneration specialist Centros Miller has submitted outline plans for the re-development of the Canal Corridor North site, a 10-acre retail-led mixed-used scheme in Lancaster. Following extensive pre-application consultation, a hybrid outline application has been submitted to Lancaster City Council together with a number of associated listed building and conservation area applications. The scheme will be anchored by a new 105,000-sq ft Debenhams department store as part of 300,000 sq ft of new shopping.

Boultbee has sold the 130,800-sq ft Nicholsons shopping centre in Maidenhead to Irish Life Assurance for £85m. Key tenants include Tesco Metro, Argos, Next, WH Smith and Ottakars and the sale represents an initial yield of 5.20 per cent and an equivalent yield of 5.75 per cent.

The £120m redevelopment of Golden Square in Warrington, which has more than doubled the size of the previous centre, has opened its doors to the public. The 365,000-sq ft extension, developed by the Warrington Retail Limited Partnership, opened almost 90 per cent let.

Westfield and Hermes, joint owners of Westfield Derby, have brought forward the opening day for the £340m redevelopment by six months. It will will now open on 9 October 2007.

A government shake-up in planning laws, following last month's White Paper, will have significant implications for out-of-town retail development.

News that Westfield has brought forward the opening of its Eagle Centre extension in Derby from spring 2008 to autumn 2007 has once again focused attention on the crowded shopping centre development pipeline over the next five years.

The ICSC Spring Convention in Las Vegas is something everyone in the industry should try and visit, if only once.

The latest Retail Sales Monitor from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG shows that UK retail sales rose by just 1.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis, compared with May 2006, when sales were up 3.6 per cent.

The unit, one of 25 branches in the Clapham House Group-owned chain, has been trading for nearly six weeks and, significantly, is the first outlet to open directly opposite a Burger King.

Fashionable and exclusive brands have been key to the success of JD Sports - one of today's most recognised stores in the UK's towns and cities.

The four pillars of retail marketing, are Product, Price, Promotion and People. From time to time further "Ps" are proposed - Process, Place etc. To get your e-mails flying I'd like to propose another - Politics.

From a standing start six years ago Multi Development has amassed a £1bn portfolio of UK projects, with schemes on site in Belfast and Bath, and another in Wolverhampton going through the planning system. But the company's UK managing director Paul Sargent is still hungry for more.

Mall promotions are these days almost as familiar a sight in shopping centres as the tenants themselves, but what makes companies choose to promote their products or services in a particular shopping mall and how do shopping centres ensure the promotions are right for their customers?

Mall promotions, RMUs, vending machines and screen advertising are all brilliant sources of additional revenue for shopping centres, but if the design and layout of the mall is not right then it could all be a non-starter.

Through the advent of Bluetooth and wireless technologies, shopping centres are discovering new ways to generate additional income from the malls without affecting the fabric of the building or taking up any mall space.

== ? Andover ==

BRITISH LAND has appointed CLAIRE COOPER as senior asset manager at the Meadowhall shopping centre. Prior to joining British Land, she was Terminal 5 project director at BAA with responsibility for strategy and the leasing of 250,000 sq ft of retail space at Heathrow's new Terminal 5.

More than 55,000 gathered last month for the 50th ICSC spring convention in Las Vegas. The sheer scale of the event was breathtaking: the two million sq ft leasing mall where major landlords woo retailers to take space in their malls was three quarters of a mile across, and it often took half an hour to get from one meeting to the next.

On its massive stand at ICSC, Westfield gave pride of place to a model of Westfield London, the million-sq ft megamall due to open next year in West London.

It's good to see the land of the free living up to its name. One exhibitor at ICSC found that its valuable model had been damaged in transit and needed urgent repairs before going on display.

The BPA has launched the Institute of Parking Professionals (IPP), an independent body representing individuals engaged in the UK parking industry and traffic management sectors.

Parkeon has installed three additional Varioflex automatic pay stations at the newly-extended Frenchgate Interchange in Doncaster, increasing the total number provided to nine.

CPV, the fixed valet hand car wash business, has announced its growth plans for Scotland as it secures new shopping centre and supermarket locations in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Irvine.

Exhibitors at this year's Parkex International launched a variety of new products at the show, which, for the second time, had joined up with Traffex and EWX External Works at the NEC Birmingham.

Pleasant, grassy areas, five-a-side football pitches, tennis courts, places to eat and relax with nice views. Sound like an ideal place to spend a Sunday afternoon? Then soon you could be heading to your local shopping centre car park to enjoy this experience.

Parking enforcement may not be a favourite topic among shopping centre and retail park managers, but for some, it is a vital part of their car park operation.


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