BCSC Gold Awards Seminar

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BCSC Gold Awards Seminar

Today’s BCSC Gold Awards Seminar not only focussed on what it takes to win a BCSC award  but more crucially showcased  what a scheme needs in the current market to be successful and to outshine the competition.

From the 2010 Gold Award Winners’ presentations by  the development and leasing teams behind Peterborough Garden Park, Bury St.Edmunds, Eldon Square – Phase 3 (Newcastle), SouthGate, Bath and St. David’s  (Cardiff) the following aspects had a specific relevance:

1. Turnover rents: When I wrote last week in this blog that I am very confident that British shopping centres will adopt turnover rents rather sooner than later, today’s presentations showed that turnover rents already arrived – With the teams behind Peterborough Garden Park, SouthGate and St.David’s having acquired extensive experience with the turnover concept in the factory outlet sector, all three schemes adopted the turnover rent concept for their schemes (at least for a number of leases)  not only to sweeten the lease-signing for retailers but because they genuinely believe that turnover rents are the way forward to achieve the best possible returns in a reasonable period of time. This is especially exciting as those schemes were awarded ‘best in class’ by the BCSC in 2010 and their success speaks for itself.

2. Shaping the city: even more than in the years before, it became clear that major retail developments are shaping the heart of the community they are built in. This  goes along with a high responsibility (e.g. SouthGate Bath and the City of Bath’s world heritage status) but also offers  a huge opportunity to turn whole cities and towns around in a positive way (Bury St.Edmunds). This is especially shown in the developers approach to the existing local retail offer, the thorough  consultation process and their  co-operation with the local councils.

3. Community engagement: nobody is an island, not even St. David’s 2. All winning schemes showed extensive engagement with the local community and even more significantly a huge involvement of the communities in the development process.  And this does not just include a well thought-out events calendar at the centres and the odd sponsorship of local activities –  while Peterborough Garden Park works with local schools and tries to push the town’s environmental credentials, Bury St. Edmunds incorporated a world class theatre and auditorium in the centre while Eldon Square redesigned the city’s main bus terminal and St. David’s took on the refurbishment of nearly a whole quarter of the city of Cardiff. Being a part of the community makes these schemes special and appreciated – a large part of their success.

4. Brand activity: Less a novelty but definitely something to mention again is that (with the exception of out-of-town retail) all main centres seem to have signed the likes of Hollister, Superdry, Cult and Apple. The strategy of these brands is well documented and widely reported, but we are keen to point out at Innesco just how these retail concepts are contributing to a scheme’s success, particularly in the current economic climate.

5. The transformation of out-of-town: Peterborough Garden Park’s presentation was exceptionally impressive as it showed how the out-of-town retail concept is taken to the next level, offering its visitors not just convenient shopping but focussed more on the shopping experience – often overlooked by out-of-town operators. This scheme evolved way beyond the first generation of retail parks, giving customers variety, state-of-the-art design and a family day out. In our view, Peterborough Garden Park is leading the way for a new generation of out-of-town retail with huge potential in the years ahead.

Christina Sandkühler, Senior Account Manager

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