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Affordable luxury US retailer David’s Bridal arrives in the UK Global affairs International retailers make their mark in the UK North and south The latest developments in Glasgow and Oxford The big draw Why department stores are thriving in the UK winter 2013
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A1 winter 2013

Apr 06, 2016

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  • Affordable luxuryUS retailer Davids Bridal arrives in the UK

    Global affairsInternational retailers make their mark in the UK

    North and southThe latest developments in Glasgow and Oxford

    The big drawWhy department stores are thriving in the UK

    winter 2013

  • The retail industry looks to the UK as a beacon of quality retailing. On a global scale, few could argue with the sectors advanced business models, closeness to its customer, and ability to keep up with ever-changing consumer behaviour.

    The feature on department stores (page 14) illustrates just how adept the UK market is at dealing with change. Many department store groups are thriving for instance, John Lewis has posted a profi t rise this year and its fascinating how theyre able to develop new formats to reach customers in different ways. In the UK, department stores are very strong, established brands with top-quality operations, which has helped them expand. In fact, across the UK retail sector, advances in multichannel are the envy of many global markets. The feature on mobile (page 28) shows the creativity with which retailers are using the platform to drive sales and customer loyalty both online and in store.

    The ability to evolve is one of UK retails strengths. Consumer research on page 17 shows retail parks are becoming ever-more attractive. They have developed from being an accessible collection point for bulky goods to more attractive shopping destinations with a tempting mix of tenants from fashion to leisure.

    UK retailing has its challenges, of course but many international retailers view the UK as a promising market in which to expand their global presence (page 10). The success of many international brands in the UK indicates how, despite the market being a crowded one, it holds opportunities for those who can stand out from the crowd and meet customers expectations.

    The evolution of retailers property portfolios is critical to their ability to survive and thrive. Property requires strategic thought, and only the very best retailers realise the importance of property talent (page 30). These are the businesses that are investing in their property teams to take the business forward. And these are the ones that will continue to thrive in the ever-competitive world of UK retailing.

    UK retails strength is its ability to evolve

    Foreword

    Richard Akers, executive director, Land Securities

    winter 20132

    28

    14

    17

    Many international retailers view the UK as a promising market in which to expand their global presence

    14

    17

  • 10

    6 We meet Davids Bridal UK managing director Myriam Ben-Yedder

    winter 2013 3

    Contents 4 News All the latest deals, initiatives

    and retail developments from Land Securities shopping schemes

    6 Interview Myriam Ben-Yedder on the arrival of US chain Davids Bridal in the UK

    10 International Why retailers are expanding their global presence on UK shores

    14 Department stores With an abundance of choice under a single roof, department stores remain convenient and aspirational destinations

    17 Retail parks Consumer research shows how retail parks are becoming ever-more attractive

    21 Development Land Securities plans for two proposed developments in the North and South of the country

    22 Oxford The citys retail o er is to be transformed with new development plans and the repositioning of its Westgate shopping centre

    25 Glasgow As the UKs best retail location outside London, A1 reports on plans to enhance the retail and leisure o er in the city

    28 Mobile The impact of the growth of mobile as a retail channel online and in store

    30 Talent As the property role shifts, A1 looks at how retailers are managing talent in their teams

    32 Retail view Land Securities Richard Akers and Claires Europe president Beatrice Lafon on the state of play in the retail market

    34 Portfolio An overview of Land Securities shopping centres, outlets, retail parks, leisure schemes and developments

    22

  • News

    Produced by

    develoPment

    Boutique cinema chain Curzon is to open in Londons Victoria next year, further boosting the areas leisure offer.

    The signing at 62 Buckingham Gate is Land Securities latest commercial development and will bring the first cinema to SW1.

    Due to open in spring 2014, the five-screen cinema in the developments basement will be the sixth in the capital for Curzon. This follows success in prestigious locations including Mayfair, Bloomsbury and Chelsea.

    Further leisure signings at the development include deli and cafe Benugo and healthy food chain Leon,

    which are planned to open for Christmas trading. A 5,430 sq ft unit for tapas restaurant Iberica has signed in the nearby Zig Zag building on Victoria Street.

    Land Securities head of development in London Colette OShea said: Victoria is fast making a name for itself as a place for people to dwell and spend quality time from morning to night.

    62 Buckingham Gate is the most significant commercial development to open in London this year, and an important step in Land Securities 2bn transformation of Victoria.

    Cinema chain Curzon to open in London Victoria

    initiatives

    Record-breaking student numbers descended on annual Student Lock-ins at Land Securities schemes in September.

    About 48,000 undergraduates flocked to late-night events at Trinity Leeds and St Davids shopping centre in Cardiff, taking advantage of discounts, goodie-bags and freebies. In Cardiff, footfall increased 27% from 22,000 to 28,000 in 2012. At Leeds, an estimated 500,000 was spent by 20,000 undergraduates.

    More than 170 retailers and restaurants from both schemes took part, with many reporting that sales

    exceeded a usual days takings within one hour. Participating retailers included Topshop, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Schuh, Yo! Sushi and Superdry.

    A Schuh spokesman said: Just two hours in, we had more than doubled our takings on the 2012 event, and what we usually take on a Saturday. This event is a great opportunity to meet new students in the city.

    St Davids centre director Steven Madeley added: Were thrilled by its success. The event saw thousands of shoppers packing into the centre to make the most of the incredible discounts on offer.

    Student Lock-in nights hit record numbers

    Editor Charlotte Hardie

    Writers mark Faithfull, Gemma Goldfingle, alex lawson, George macdonald, Keely stocker, Rebecca thomson

    Supplements Production Editor tracey Gardner

    Design forty6 design ltd www.forty6design.com

    Publisher tracey davies

    For Land Securities

    Claire Reynolds claire.reynolds@landsecurities.com t +44 (0)20 7747 2390

    Sejal Lad sejal.lad@landsecurities.com t +44 (0)20 7024 5411

    Retail Week

    all material is strictly copyright and all rights were reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of Retail Week is strictly forbidden. the greatest care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine at the time of going to press, but we accept no responsibility for omissions or errors. the views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of Retail Week or land securities.

    a1 is printed by Headley Brothers ltd.

    ashford, Kent

    students took advantage of discounts, goodie-bags and freebies

    winter 20134

  • Other news

    X-leisureLand Securities has acquired an additional 35.6% in the X-Leisure Unit Trust for a total cash consideration of 104m, taking its total ownership to 95%. The X-Leisure portfolio comprises 16 schemes, totalling 3.1 million sq ft of leisure and entertainment space, including X-scape in Milton Keynes and Brighton Marina. Land Securities is now the UKs biggest leisure landlord.

    Galleria, HatfieldThe Galleria in Hatfield has completed new deals with Prezzo and PizzaExpress and premium fashion retailer Gant has expanded its floor space, which altogether will take a combined food and retail space of 10,000 sq ft.

    Land Securities portfolio director Deepan Khiroya said: The expansion of Gant, followed by the arrival of PizzaExpress and Prezzo, demonstrates how we work with our tenants to commercially meet their demands and increase their presence within the scheme.

    White Rose lettingsThe retail offer at Leeds White Rose Shopping Centre will be further boosted with the signing of several deals. Simply Be, Jacamo and Quiz have all taken new units, while Bank has doubled the size of its current space. Jacamo and Simply Be head of retail development Jeanette Carter said: White Rose is one of the key go-to destinations for shopping in Leeds, so it made perfect sense for Jacamo and Simply Be to open here and capitalise on the busy footfall.

    The best of enterprise talent in the North came together last month to celebrate at the Morley Business Awards in Leeds.

    More than 200 people attended the event at Morley Town Hall, supported by the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds and Land Securities, to hear the win-ners of the eight categories. These included retailer of the year, service provider of the year and food and drink outlet of the year.

    White Rose Shopping Centre manager Dean Stratton and Land Securities portfolio director

    Gerald Jennings presented the award for manufacturer of the year, which was won by local cake retailer Board to Tiers.

    Stratton said: Were proud to be part of the com-munity in Morley and delighted to once again work in partnership with the chamber to support this flagship event. It recognises the many successful businesses and individuals, whose hard work is ensuring that the town has a bright future.

    The event has been supported by White Rose and Land Securities for the past three years.

    White Rose and Land Securities host awardsaWaRds

    sHoPPinG CentRes

    Trinity Kitchen, a pioneering take on food retailing, was launched at Trinity Leeds in October.

    The 20,000 sq ft food hall combines a diverse mix of emerging high street restaurants, cafes and bars with the UKs best street food vendors.

    Alongside the halls seven permanent restaurants, cafes and bars, including Pho, Chicago Rib Shack and 360 Champagne & Cocktails, five new UK street food vendors will be chosen to take part each month. These will be selected by Richard Johnson, food jour-nalist and curator of the British Street Food Awards.

    Johnson says: The street food revolution is on the rise in the UK, and were bringing the very best of it to Leeds with the opening of Trinity Kitchen. Shoppers will be able to experience different foods from around the world, delivered in an indoor street food market every single day, seven days a week.

    The Trinity Kitchen launch forms part of Land Securities evolution of the retail market. In response to consumer demand, food and beverage facilities at Trinity Leeds have increased from 13% to 24% since the development opened in March this year.

    Trinity Kitchen kicks off street food revolution

    shoppers can experience different foods from around the world

    winter 2013 5

    Brighton marina

  • winter 20136

    Weddings are an emotional affair even for retailers at the helm of bridal businesses, laughs Myriam Ben-Yedder. In the six months since being charged with spearheading US

    wedding chain Davids Bridals UK venture, the former head of Marks & Spencer womenswear has been reduced to tears on numerous occasions after hearing customers stories. Ive never had this in 22 years of retail, she says. Its an emotional business which is unique in retail. I love that.

    Tears aside, UK managing director Ben-Yedder is serious about the task at hand. Last month the retailer opened the doors to its first 11,000 sq ft, two-storey international flagship to swarms of brides-to-be. Moreover, these customers had reason to be happy. UK retailing may be among the most advanced in the world, but the same cannot be said of its bridal industry. Dominated by small independents with a niche selection of dresses, its model hasnt changed for centu-ries, with the exception of a few department stores launching small boutiques. Now, though, thats about to change.

    To give an idea of Davids Bridals popularity in the US, Ben-Yedder says nearly one in three US brides walks down the aisle in one of its dresses. There are more than 2 million weddings in the US every year. So why is it so popular? There are numerous reasons, says Ben-Yedder, including quality and value for money. The first store opened in 1950 and its grown to the scale that we are able to produce couture-quality dresses at prices of well below what you would typically find in the marketplace. It designs, develops and produces all of its own dresses often through tie-ups with big-name designers such as Vera Wang largely through joint ventures with Asia.

    Interview

    forwardWith dresses ranging from 295 to 1,650, our customer

    is every bride who wants to buy a couture-looking gown without spending 2,000 to 3,000 or more, she says.

    Another reason why the brand has struck a chord with so many millions of US brides is the fact that it caters for more than just the bride herself. They can visit a store and find a dress for the entire wedding party. Its about convenience for the bride. We know that todays bride is busy. They have work, families, schools to deal with as well. She still wants to have her dream day, but doesnt necessarily have the time that brides decades ago may have had.

    And so its store at Westfield Stratford City has 6,000 sq ft devoted to bridal dresses, and a further 5,000 sq ft for brides-maids, the mother of the bride, eveningwear and special occasion dresses. It has more than 200 styles of dress, with bridesmaids dresses in a choice of 22 colours. Location wise, its choice of shopping centre works perfectly for its operating principles of brand accessibility.

    Although reticent to discuss specific plans for the UK market, there is a sense that Davids Bridal is aiming high. Nothing appears to be off limits. Its a little premature to give specifics, but we want to be in all major markets in the UK, and potentially will look at anywhere from Birmingham to Glasgow, she says. In time, the retailer hopes to launch a transactional website.

    So why has the UK been singled out for the chains first venture out of North America? One reason is the parity between the US and UK marketplace. Approaches to weddings are similar between the two countries and have the same traditions when it comes to dresses and bridal parties. Secondly, says Ben-Yedder, the retailer believes the UK could benefit from a transformation that has already taken place in the States. The UK market looks like the US market used to a whole range of mom and

    The bridal market has been shaken up by the arrival of US chain Davids Bridal. Charlotte Hardie talks to UK managing director Myriam Ben-Yedder about its affordable luxury mantra and its plans across the pond

    From this day

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  • 7winter 2013

  • winter 20138

    pop shops with distinct specifications that arent able to bring value to the market. And thirdly, the UK and London specifically in terms of the flagship was attractive because of its fashion reputation. We offer incredible style and incredible value, so we wanted to open a store in a market that leads on fashion, she says.

    Ben-Yedders fashion background promises to stand her in good stead for this role. The bridal market, she explains, is becoming more design led, with diffusion ranges from a variety of designers so an understanding of fashion is valuable. Whats more, fashions supply chain models are in demand in the bridalwear space. Speed to market has become more important in bridalwear in order to reduce lead times, and a very broad sourcing background is invalu-able for the breadth of product we offer from tiaras and footwear to intricately handmade bridal gowns, she says.

    The brand was an attractive proposition, Ben-Yedder adds. Being a heritage business, customers can trust Davids Bridal will deliver on its promises, she explains, and its an incredibly exciting new venture at the cornerstone of our international expansion.

    A refreshing changeIf, as anticipated, Davids Bridal gains a widespread foothold across the UK, many brides will have a pleasant wake-up call. The current norm for bridal dress shopping is an antiquated one. Often advised to visit a bridal boutique as much as nine months before her big day, the bride-to-be then chooses from an often small selection of dresses that are often all in a sample size 12. Should the customer be smaller, they are pinned into it. Bigger, and they might have to try it on without actually being able to do it up properly. No customer would buy any other type of dress in this way, which is why Davids Bridal does things differently. Its dresses come in different sizes to try on from a 6 to a 36 and there is also an alteration team on site so you could potentially take away your dream outfit in two days or even on the day. Its also very clear about prices upfront. We dont charge an alteration service. The team have done such a good job in creating affordable luxury that we want them to be transparent.

    Unsurprisingly, customer service is at the top of the chains priorities. Customer service is absolutely central to every-thing we do, says Ben-Yedder. Our focus is on her. In the US, its store consultants, as they are called, receive some of the most expensive customer service training in the country, focusing on everything from trends to silhouettes to suit different figures.

    Its approach is refreshing. Enter the average independent bridal boutique with a camera, and youre doing so at your peril. Taking photographs of a bride in a dress is strictly forbidden by many, for fear of the bride-to-be taking the photo to a dressmaker to copy at a fraction of the price. Davids Bridal doesnt share such concerns. One of the things we encourage in our stores is taking photos and sharing your experience. Many places like to keep things contained. We want brides to share and take a picture of

    every dress theyre in. This helps with its brand awareness on social media, too. What better platform to post photos of prospective dresses than Pinterest? Social media is incred-ibly useful, says Ben-Yedder. A bride in her 20s is as connected to digital media as she ever has been. It changes the way she shops, and the UK customer is far more engaged with online planning and online resources than in the US.

    It also has a planning tool on its website called My Event, in which a bride can create mood boards, plan budgets, connect with her wedding party and share details of her wedding on news feeds.

    As Ben-Yedder points out: We dont just sell to the bride and her party. We help them plan and we make it special.

    The close attention the retailer pays to understanding the needs of brides and what they want from their shopping experience pays off. Ben-Yedder spent much time in the US getting to know the business when she first joined the retailer ahead of the UK launch. One customers fiance worked in the army and was leaving to go on tour, and they had to rush

    Facts and Figures n davids Bridal opened its

    first store in Fort Lauderdale,

    Florida, in 1950

    n it has 309 stores in the us,

    and nine in canada

    n about 60% of all us brides

    shop in davids Bridal

    n it aims to bring luxury at

    affordable prices, partnering

    with Vera Wang to launch

    the WHite by Vera Wang

    collection in 2010 and in

    2013 with Zac Posen, launching

    in the uK next year

    n it launched its first uK store last

    month a two-storey, 11,000

    sq ft venture selling outfits for

    the entire wedding party

    n its London flagship will house

    more than 200 styles of dress

    bridesmaids dresses are sold

    in a choice of 22 colours

    Interview

    We dont charge an alteration service. The team have done such a good job in creating affordable luxury that we want them to be transparent Myriam Ben-Yedder, Davids Bridal

  • winter 2013 9

    through the wedding in a matter of days. They did it and she was so happy, she recalls. Another customer had bought her dress from another store and, two days before the wedding, collected it to find it didnt fit. She ended up buying a bouquet of flowers for a Davids Bridal consultant who sorted out a new dress for her within two days.

    But it would be impossible to discuss the challenges of running a bridal business without mentioning the word bridezilla to Ben-Yedder. One might assume that this is not the easiest customer group to work with on a daily basis, but she laughs off the notion. I think the media has certainly overblown the behaviour of a bridezilla, she smiles. Most are wonderful, kind, generous women to deal with.

    She concedes that the consumer is definitely emotional about her purchase, but sees that as a good thing. Whats exciting is having the emotional connection you make with your customer and to be able to share that moment with her. Its such a great privilege to bring a new and innovative business to the UK, she says.

    The challenges of the role instead lie in other areas. One, she explains, is replicating the success it has in the US. Its so successful over there that we need to make sure we provide her with that same experience. And, of course, the bridal market is not one where you can rely on too many repeat visits, so it will be keen to gain a foothold among the impressionable and enthusiastic bridal population as quickly as possible.

    Unquestionably, this US retailers launch promises to shake up the UK wedding market. It has identified a clear gap into which the department stores have only been able to dip their toes until now.

    In the US, thousands of Davids Bridal store consultants receive invites to the weddings of happy customers. They might not always be able to attend given that weddings are often on Saturdays, but if the brand can replicate even some of the success it has had in the States, many an embossed invitation could be landing on the doormats of its UK employees, too. l

    MyriaM Ben-yedders career in FasHion 2013 to present uK managing director, davids Bridal

    2010 to 2013 brand and retail director, Firetrap

    2008 to 2010 brand director, Full circle designs

    2002 to 2008 head of planning, store and retail marketing group

    and, previously head of retail,

    womenswear, Marks & spencer

    1994 to 2001 various, including european operations manager,

    gap

    davids Bridal offers customers dresses to try on in a variety of sizes

    and prices compared with some more traditional boutiques

  • winter 201310

    International

    On a global retail level, the UK has it all. Savvy consumers, forward-thinking retail brands, eye-catching store designs, an advanced online market, top-quality supply chains the list goes on. It is, without doubt, a crowded

    market but for strategic-thinking international retailers with a point of difference and the right expansion strategy, the UK market is reaping rewards.

    In the past five or six years, international names havent just crept over a veritable influx of new names has been keen to test their brands on British turf (see box on p12). Just a handful of those which have landed here since the mid-2000s include Gilly Hicks, Hollister, Banana Republic, Cos, Forever 21, J Crew and Victorias Secret. Among the latest high-profile entries is US retailer Davids Bridal, which opened the doors of its first flagship in London in August.

    Before, it was more about UK brands going abroad, but in the last two years weve seen more foreign brands moving here, says Silvia Rindone, a director in the retail consulting practice for Deloitte. Isabel Cavill, an analyst for retail consultancy Planet Retail, says it is often London, with its strong economy and high tourist numbers, where many brands really want to be. London is an important market and a big city it has a strong shopping culture, more so than other European markets, she says. The UK consumer is very open to new brands.

    Whats more, the Retail International Programme Expansion Index by property consultancy EC Harris, published in September 2012, named the UK as the second easiest market for retailers seeking to expand. Germany

    topped the list, but the UK was singled out for its avail-ability of prime locations, the maturity of retail property and an open business environment.

    Gap-owned Banana Republic is among the big US names to have moved to the UK, opening its first store just before the financial crisis started in March 2008. Finding a gap in the saturated UK market is a challenge, but Banana Republic proved it could be done. Its upmarket designs without the high-end price tag struck a chord with consumers. Meanwhile, H&Ms upmarket fascia, Cos, has found a firm fashion following. Its products have impressed the critics and grace the fashion pages of magazines week in, week out, with customers wooed by its unusual fashion lines, quality fabrics and affordable pricing.

    An ideal locationPart of the reason for the UKs increasing popularity with international retailers is its helpful positioning both geographically and culturally between Europe and the US. The UK is an interesting stepping stone for interna-tional brands, Rindone says. For the US, its a really close country from a cultural perspective and geographically its close to Europe. The UK consumer is a hybrid between a continental consumer and an American consumer.

    The UKs cultural similarities with the US means British shoppers are keen to try American brands as Rindone says: UK people really get US brands, so theyre attractive. From the Americans standpoint, opening in the UK means they are a step closer to Europe. They can use it as a base for gaining an understanding of how the region works, and where might be a good market to tackle next. In addition, many European brands have

    Making it big in

    blighty US lingerie giant Victorias Secret opened its first UK store on Londons Bond Street

    London is an important market and a big city it has a strong shopping culture, more so than other European markets Isabel Cavill, Planet Retail

    International brands have flocked to the UK over the past few years. Rebecca Thomson

    considers their success and finds out more about the

    opportunities afforded by the domestic market

  • 11winter 2013

    a UK presence, so US retailers can use it as a measure of how their stores might perform against their European counterparts.

    From the European perspective, the cultural similarities mean the UK is a good testing ground for those brands who eventually want to go to the US. The UK is a really interesting market because of that, says Rindone. They all come here to test the ground.

    Aside from the UKs helpful positioning, there are a few factors that make it an attractive market in its own right. Land Securities executive director Richard Akers says the countrys closely packed population also helps entice brands. There are difficulties and risks in operating in the UK, in particular a high level of occupancy costs and higher business rates, but you can get high densities from store openings.

    Plus, of course, entering a new market means a fresh start in terms of image. Akers says retailers often pitch for a higher end of the market when trying new territories. The UK is giving international brands a chance to reposition themselves with a new demographic. Banana Republic is fairly everydaywear across the US but quite g

    US retailer Hollister has 30 UK stores

    Danish budget retailer Tiger opened five new stores in 2012

  • inTernaTionaL BranDS To SUcceSSfULLy arriVe on UK SHoreS

    n Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister The high-profile US retailer of premium casual clothing for the youth

    market launched in the UK in 2007. The abercrombie &

    fitch flagship is on Londons Savile row, with the more

    affordable Hollister brand rolled out in 2008. Hollister

    has 30 UK stores.

    n Gilly Hicks Part of the abercrombie & fitch and Hollister stable, the lingerie brand opened six stores

    in the UK between 2010 and 2012. Brand extensions

    are focusing on sales through its Hollister store

    network.

    n Banana Republic The brand, owned by US giant Gap, launched its first store in 2008, and has eight

    stores around the country.

    n Forever 21 The US fast-fashion retailer opened its first UK store in 2010 in Birmingham. it now has

    seven stores.

    n Cos, Cheap Monday and Monki european clothing giant H&M which has more than 200 UK stores

    has launched all three new-format fascias in the

    UK market since 2007.

    n Nespresso The premium coffee brand, which has 270 stores worldwide and a strong online UK presence,

    opened its first UK standalone store in Manchester in

    april. it is opening two central London sites and more

    across the UK, targeting city locations.

    n Krispy Kreme The US doughnut brand arrived in the UK in 2004, and has more than 50 coffee bars

    and kiosks.

    n Tiger Danish budget variety retailer Tiger announced it is ramping up its UK expansion in 2009. it opened five

    new stores in 2012, and now has a total of 20. it also

    had a record year in 2012, as pre-tax profits soared

    101% to 1.6m.

    n Victorias Secret The US lingerie giant signed its first UK store on Londons Bond Street in 2010. it

    is now expanding in the north of the country,

    including opening a store in Trinity Leeds

    shopping centre.

    n J Crew The US fashion brand entered the UK this year via three London stores opening in october

    and november, with a flagship on regent Street,

    a womenswear boutique in Brompton cross and

    a menswear store on Lambs conduit Street.

    n Taking Shape australian plus-size retailer Taking Shape, which has 130 stores across australia and

    new Zealand, began its assault on the UK market

    with the opening of five stores in September

    this year. it aims to expand to 21 shops by

    early 2014.

    n Jysk The Danish furniture retailer opened its first UK shop in 2008, and new openings in September

    will take its store estate to 10. it plans to increase

    this to 20 in the next year.

    International

    exclusive in the UK. Victorias Secret has located its new store on Bond Street. It helps it maintain a price level.

    Rindone says one thing many of these brands have got right is the marketing surrounding their launch. There has been some really clever marketing before these brands arrive, up to a year beforehand. It has focused on creating brand awareness and creating an appetite for the brand so everyone is ready to buy. Weve seen it from both US and European brands.

    Building up a pictureMarketing is not the only aspect brands have pitched correctly. In many cases, much of the reason for their success is the development of a thorough research process. Some are now using more of an online presence to learn about the market. They are making a concerted effort to understand what tastes are and what people will be interested in, and what kind of a profile brands need to succeed in the UK.

    Plus, as any retailer knows, strong product is imperative for those entering a new market. Rindone says: If the product is right, it will be a successful brand.

    But it is also important to keep momentum up after the fanfare surrounding openings fades. Rindone says: After the initial hype starts to flatten you need strong product and

    The UK consumer is a hybrid between a continental consumer and an American consumer Silvia Rindone, Deloitte

    winter 201312

  • wanting to expand globally. I think retailers have become more professional over the past decade. This is not the beginning of the 1990s more retailers understand what they need to do to unlock international markets. This means there is much more study of a market before entering, rather than just opening stores and seeing what happens.

    Whats more, while the logical response to the economic downturn might seem to be to steer clear of markets with sluggish growth, it has actually spurred retailers on to expand as they look for new sources of growth outside of home markets. The UKs retail market is beginning to pick up, and those retail businesses with a strong strategy and a strong point of difference are experiencing the benefits.

    Nevertheless, international brands will need to work hard to remain relevant. The fashionable UK consumer, faced with so much choice and quality, can be fickle. The market is competitive and crowded, says Rindone.

    No market is without challenges, but if retailers can get UK expansion right, it holds boundless opportunities. And for the very best international brands who desire a presence in one of the prime retail markets in the world, its a challenge they are more than willing to take on. l

    a clear unique selling point. Its really hard to get it right over an extended period of time.

    The long-term strategies of international brands is hard to decipher they are often tight lipped on their plans. But many big names start by taking a London flagship store in a high footfall area, such as Regent Street, and supporting that with online trading and perhaps a small network of stores in key cities across the UK. Rindone says: You will see some select presence in bigger cities outside London. But it might take a while to see how London works before doing that. They dont want to overstretch themselves.

    Victorias Secrets recent announcement of new stores supports this, but Rindone says this stage can be challenging. The challenge is how you increase your footprint, she says. How fast do you do it, and where do you do it?

    Any form of international expansion is never easy, and the UK is no exception. The prevalence of online shopping, however, makes it a bit easier, giving brands more choice in how they enter the market. Theres more flexibility nowadays in expansion strategies and you dont necessarily need stores, Cavill says.

    An increasing number of international names are getting it right. Rindone says this is likely to be down to a growing level of professionalism and knowledge among retailers

    US retailer Banana republic (above) opened its first shop in the UK in 2008 and has eight stores around the country

    13winter 2013

  • right. A rapidly transformed retail environment has prompted change to ensure they remain keyed into consumer desires.

    The introduction of new brands, own-brand development, authority in particular categories, engaging in-store environ-ments and the embrace of multichannel opportunities have been motors of department stores ongoing success. They may be old-established, but department stores have been among the most modern-minded of retailers.

    The brand mix is a key appeal. Ashley Blake, director of retail portfolio management for Land Securities, notes the balance of own label and big-name global brands is funda-mental. Department stores bring in brands we might not otherwise get, he says.

    That may mean stocking particular brands and so poten-tially sometimes acting as a bridgehead for labels that are testing the waters before opening stores themselves, or wowing consumers with own brands whose qualities have established similar kudos.

    You need both, he maintains. Its hard to go completely own brand it would be like a supermarket without Heinz Ketchup. But he acknowledges the power of private label, which has been deployed by department stores across the board.

    Debenhams is repositioning its own brands as well as collaborating with designers such as Henry Holland.

    Similarly, House of Fraser has developed its own house brands, which last year accounted for 14% of sales and deliv-ered gross pro t growth of 5%. John Lewis has also devel-oped ranges with designers such as Alice Temperley, which have been extended into new categories.

    Own brand or global brand, their exclusive availability in department stores means that from the shoppers point of view there is only one place to purchase, so bolstering the appeal of anchor status for retailer and property owner alike. Exclusive brands provide di erentiation from online rivals and a reason for consumers to visit a bricks-and-mortar location.

    But as Debenhams property head Rob Had eld empha-sises, department stores tick even more boxes in the shoppers mind. Its the depth of the o er, he says. Not only from the clothing point of view but the whole experience, from catering to health and beauty.

    Report

    winter 201314

    Ever since the earliest department stores such as Le Bon March in Paris opened their doors in the mid-19th century, the emporia have occupied a unique place in the retail landscape.

    In the intervening period the death of the department store has been proclaimed as new retail formats have emerged, but the appeal of the model has proved enduring and is in rude health more than 150 years later.

    Just as Harrods and Selfridges draw hordes of domestic and international shoppers to Knightsbridge and Oxford Street, epitomising the best that London retail has to o er, store groups such as Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis create consumer excitement nationwide as well as in the capital.

    They seem to have outlived store types that once looked as if they would replace them at the moment hands are being wrung internationally about the future of the hypermarket, once seen as the format of the future and retain a special draw that still makes them anchors of choice for shopping centre owners.

    The reason is straightforward, although the challenge of adaptation is a constant. Department stores remain aspira-tional destinations that also o er the convenience of a cornu-copia of choice under a single roof. That works for the retailers and for the landlords that woo them to their schemes. John Lewis development manager Paul Grierson says: Depart-ment stores deliver a regional agship anchor for a scheme or high street. We o er a broad spectrum of products and services that transforms a centre into a premium retail destination.

    Verdict senior analyst Honor Westnedge observes that department stores attract aspirational shoppers who spend time and money in stores that are big draws in their own right. The halo e ect is browsing, dwell time and spend for their retail neighbours something any shopping centre owner can bene t from.

    Westnedge says: Some customers will spend half a day in a department store meeting for co ee, getting their hair done, looking at the goods, maybe having lunch. And on top of that they are likely to take a look at the other shops and leisure providers around them.

    But department store groups do not enjoy such appeal as a

    The UKs department store sector is thriving. George MacDonald looks at the reasons for its success

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    The mix of own label and brands in department stores is a key appeal

    Debenhams is the market leader in the latter category, accounting for about 2.2% of the market, according to Verdict, and is helped by its beauty loyalty scheme, Beauty Club.

    The importance of beauty lines, typically shown at the front of department stores, cannot be underestimated,

    according to Westnedge: Beauty is always on the ground oor because its a footfall driver and in

    many places [department stores] are the only place to get premium beauty. Beauty has a very wide customer base thats why you see investment in beauty departments and the marketing of them is very aspirational.

    Blake says: We acknowledge how important beauty products are for women they are a regular

    key purchase.Others have seized their own opportunities. John Lewis,

    for instance, reported in its last annual results that it had won the second largest home market share in the UK after growth of 6.2%. It also gained its highest ever share of computers, TVs, cameras and other electricals goods as its sales in such categories climbed almost 30%. The companys reputation for value and service were at the heart of its advances. Such advances by department stores have been the result not just of traditional strengths but of bold multi-

    channel initiatives.All the big department store groups have invested

    heavily in multichannel. Whether it is Debenhams Endless Aisle, providing a single view of stock and enabling better ful lment of customer orders, or House of Fraser innovations such as buy-and-collect stores deploying digital technology

    and enhanced delivery options, or John Lewis 40m invest-ment in a new online platform, the ante has been upped.

    The results are clear in all the retailers ecommerce perfor-mance. In its latest update in September, Debenhams posted a 46.2% increase in online sales in the 52 weeks to August 31. House of Fraser, in its May full-year update, reported a 53% uplift in online sales to account for almost 11% of total revenues. And John Lewis latest annual results showed Johnlewis.com gross sales were ahead by 41% to 959m about 25% of trade.

    Such developments are great news for retailers and property owners. Debenhams Had eld says: Where we open a store our multichannel sales increase they act as a beacon.

    Land Securities Blake maintains: Its given department stores a bigger reach. They once had to worry about the catch-ment. Now they can reach back [to consumers] and get sales between [customer shopping] trips. The net is good for them and the landlord can help with free wi- plus application through their websites and marketing initiatives.

    Westnedge thinks department stores have been astute to ride the multichannel wave. A lot of product is branded so they need to be comparable to or ahead of the sector special-ists multichannel plays into their convenience o er.

    Services such as click-and-collect allow department stores, like other retailers, to sell from a bigger range than can sometimes be stocked in store, as well as to better appeal to younger consumers being used to and sometimes preferring to shop digitally.

    Westnedge says: Now theyre appealing to 16-to-24-year-olds. Thats because of better brands and multichannel that age group likes to shop by mobile, tablet etc.

    Debenhams is the market leader in the latter category, accounting for about 2.2% of the market, according to Verdict, and is helped by its beauty loyalty scheme, Beauty Club.

    The importance of beauty lines, typically shown at the front of department stores, cannot be underestimated,

    according to Westnedge: Beauty is always on the ground oor because its a footfall driver and in

    beauty products are for women they are a regular key purchase.

    Others have seized their own opportunities. John Lewis, for instance, reported in its last annual results that it had won the second largest home market share in the UK after growth of 6.2%. It also gained its highest ever share of computers, TVs, cameras and other electricals goods as its sales in such categories climbed almost 30%. The companys reputation for value and service were at the heart of its advances. Such advances by department stores have been the result not just of traditional strengths but of bold multi-

    channel initiatives.All the big department store groups have invested

    heavily in multichannel. Whether it is Debenhams Endless Aisle, providing a single view of stock and enabling better ful lment of customer orders, or House of Fraser innovations such as buy-and-collect stores deploying digital technology

    We offer a broad spectrum of products and services that transforms a centre into a premium retail destination Paul Grierson, John Lewis

  • winter 201316

    From a retailer perspective, the growth of services such as click-and-collect means there is an ever-greater premium placed on parking facilities in shopping centres. Had eld says: From the property side, free car-parking would be nice from the store and multichannel point of view. Where theres free parking, or parking promotions, retailers bene t.

    Blake maintains free parking is di cult. While at Land Securities centres, such as White Rose, it may be provided, it is more di cult in town in locations such as Cardi s St Davids or Bristol. The city centres need to be charged if we went free wed be rammed with commuters and not shoppers, he explains.

    However, Land Securities is willing to run parking promo-tions, where possible, and to help with recon guration of space to facilitate click-and-collect. It is also considering initia-tives such as delivery of shopping to customers cars.

    The growth of multichannel is, of course, a ecting depart-ment store groups space requirements. They are increasingly modifying their formats to take advantage of new opportunity as shopping habits and technological innovation open doors.

    Had eld says Debenhams is willing to ex space require-ments at the bottom as well as the top, where appropriate, of its traditional range though he is quick to point out that theres a minimum base to provide a certain o er, below which its not a department store.

    John Lewis has been adapting its requirements. The retailer has successfully opened at Home stores focused on its home range and, as in Exeter, a smaller format that leverages the multichannel opportunity to sell a bigger range than can be accommodated in the physical shop.

    Westnedge expects full-line department store openings to remain quite subdued. She says: There are fewer opportuni-ties because anchors are dependent on new development.

    That has been in relatively short supply during the recession and downturn. With the rise of multichannel theres less need for more and more stores. They may look for smaller format stores because they dont need to o er the full range physically, she concludes.

    Had eld says: Its about the right location in the market,

    whether high street, shopping centre or park. The fundamen-tals dont change its about accessibility. Well look where we dont have representation. John Lewis Grierson agrees that its about ensuring the basics are right: When reviewing a location John Lewis looks for prominence and visibility of a site. The access needs to be straightforward for customers and servicing, importantly with a quality environment and a compelling tenant mix.

    From the property owners point of view, department stores remain at the top of the list of desirable tenants but their interests are also shifting. Blake notes: The department store is still important but on its own is not enough you need the Topshops, the Zaras, 20 or 30 cracking restaurants. Its not a matter of putting a department store at each end [of a mall].

    Had eld agrees a suitable tenant mix is in department stores interests: In an ideal world we are sitting alongside others, comparable mid-market fashion retailers and critical mass. Shopping centres are becoming more destination-oriented. I see that continuing.

    He says the success of department stores in property terms comes down to property owners understanding what consumers want and maintains that Debenhams o ers a compelling proposition which increases dwell time and the amount consumers spend.

    Westnedge says department stores look well placed to continue to thrive as long as they meet shopper needs. We still see them as the main anchors because theyre trusted brand names, she maintains.

    Its interesting that Tescos new headline-grabbing Watford store has more in common with the department store than a traditional hypermarket. It incorporates eateries, distinct areas and an environment overtly designed to inspire.

    Blake concludes: Many landlords are like department store operators, carefully curating brands. We can learn a lot from them.

    Department stores look likely to continue to inspire, enter-tain and seduce shoppers under one roof and the interests of retailer and property owner should continue to deliver bene ts for both even as multichannel shopping grows apace.

    From a retailer perspective, the growth of services such as click-and-collect means there is an ever-greater premium placed on parking facilities in shopping centres. Had eld says: From the property side, free car-parking would be nice from the store and multichannel point of view. Where theres

    Blake maintains free parking is di cult. While at Land Securities centres, such as White Rose, it may be provided, it is more di cult in town in locations such as Cardi s St Davids or Bristol. The city centres need to be charged if we went free wed be rammed with commuters and not

    However, Land Securities is willing to run parking promo-tions, where possible, and to help with recon guration of space to facilitate click-and-collect. It is also considering initia-

    The growth of multichannel is, of course, a ecting depart-ment store groups space requirements. They are increasingly modifying their formats to take advantage of new opportunity as shopping habits and technological innovation open doors.

    Had eld says Debenhams is willing to ex space require-ments at the bottom as well as the top, where appropriate, of its traditional range though he is quick to point out that theres a minimum base to provide a certain o er, below

    John Lewis has been adapting its requirements. The retailer has successfully opened at Home stores focused on its home range and, as in Exeter, a smaller format that leverages the multichannel opportunity to sell a bigger range than can

    Westnedge expects full-line department store openings to remain quite subdued. She says: There are fewer opportuni-ties because anchors are dependent on new development.

    That has been in relatively short supply during the recession and downturn. With the rise of multichannel theres less need for more and more stores. They may look for smaller format stores because they dont need to o er

    Had eld says: Its about the right location in the market,

    whether high street, shopping centre or park. The fundamen-tals dont change its about accessibility. Well look where we dont have representation. John Lewis Grierson agrees that its about ensuring the basics are right: When reviewing a location John Lewis looks for prominence and visibility of a site. The access needs to be straightforward for customers and servicing, importantly with a quality environment and a compelling tenant mix.

    From the property owners point of view, department stores remain at the top of the list of desirable tenants but their interests are also shifting. Blake notes: The department store is still important but on its own is not enough you need the Topshops, the Zaras, 20 or 30 cracking restaurants. Its not a matter of putting a department store at each end [of a mall].

    Had eld agrees a suitable tenant mix is in department stores interests: In an ideal world we are sitting alongside others, comparable mid-market fashion retailers and critical mass. Shopping centres are becoming more destination-oriented. I see that continuing.

    He says the success of department stores in property terms comes down to property owners understanding what consumers want and maintains that Debenhams o ers a compelling proposition which increases dwell time and the amount consumers spend.

    Westnedge says department stores look well placed to continue to thrive as long as they meet shopper needs. We still see them as the main anchors because theyre trusted brand names, she maintains.

    Its interesting that Tescos new headline-grabbing Watford store has more in common with the department store than a traditional hypermarket. It incorporates eateries, distinct areas and an environment overtly designed to inspire.

    Blake concludes: Many landlords are like department store operators, carefully curating brands. We can learn a lot from them.

    Department stores look likely to continue to inspire, enter-tain and seduce shoppers under one roof and the interests of retailer and property owner should continue to deliver bene ts for both even as multichannel shopping grows apace.

    Department stores wide offer can increase dwell time and the amount shoppers spend

  • winter 2013 17

    Retail parks have enjoyed strong growth since their inception, as British shoppers fell in love with the free parking, the wide choice in retail brands and the array of products on offer in these out-of-town shopping havens.

    However, the digital age has challenged these long-held views and retail parks are revamping their offer to stay relevant and compete. The gap between excellent retail parks with a mixture of attractive retail brands, varied categories and leisure, and poor destinations is widening.

    BRC data shows that out-of-town footfall rose nearly 1% in July, while earlier this year the Local Data Company said retail parks have the fewest vacancies of all shopping destina-tions and some parks have no vacancies at all.

    A new generation of retail parks is emerging. Land Securi-ties portfolio of 17 retail parks comprise a number of UK retails most attractive locations. For example, Lakeside

    Retail Park in West Thurrock, Essex attracts shoppers from the Southeast and London, offering consumers a variety of retail including homewares, electricals and cafes.

    Team Valley Retail Park in Gateshead offers an attractive proposition to the 1.9 million shoppers in its Northeast catchment. Meanwhile, the Westwood Cross Retail Park in Thanet, Kent epitomises the development that is happening in retail parks. Retailers include Marks & Spencer and Debenhams first full-line department store on a retail park, as well as a 70,000 sq ft Primark retail parks being a first out-of-town venture for the latter. There is also a Vue multiplex cinema and a number of eateries.

    It is something of a new dawn for retail parks. Historically, from a landlord perspective, they were low-risk shopping destinations with low costs of capital. But with a demand for higher returns, they are undergoing significant development. The potential in the prime destinations is significant.

    The changing face of

    Report

    retail parksRetail parks have never been lauded for their glamour, but they continue to attract the hordes. Alex Lawson considers how a new generation of retail parks is being developed and reports on exclusive shopper research

    g

  • Report

    winter 201318

    Meanwhile, a number of brands have stated their ambition to expand their presence out of town. Morrisons-owned baby specialist Kiddicare made a splash into big-box retail last year with a new format that incorporated pushchair testing tracks and community rooms. Meanwhile, Pets at Home also continues to open new stores on retail parks. At the discount end of the market, the value players including B&M and Poundland are eyeing expansion on retail parks and have gained funding to support this.

    As well as prime sites, Land Securities has also worked with some innovative brands revamping their offers on its parks. In 2010, Dixons combined its Currys and PC World format, which appears on its Goodmayes Retail Park in greater London and Ravenside Retail Park in Chesterfield. Ravenside is also anchored by Debenhams, which opened

    its first full-line department store on a retail park in September 2012. Meanwhile, Poole Retail Park in Dorset is host to the first John Lewis at Home store.

    Land Securities portfolio director Hermione Mackrill says: Retailers not traditionally found on retail parks have come in as they recognise economies of scale, accessibility and free parking are big pluses for shoppers. This type of store format is especially relevant with click-and-collect facilities concentrated on retail parks, again because they are so convenient for customers.

    Poundland acquisitions surveyor Sean Riley says the retailer is using parks to build on its 450-store high street business. Parks give us an opportunity to explore new markets where customers may have different shopping missions, he says. We also benefit from a bigger average basket spend on parks, because of the easy access and proximity to free parking.

    David Short, country managing director of Brantano owner Macintosh Fashion, adds that free parking and the ability to broaden its range through large stores is an attractive proposition. The tenant line-ups on retail parks are usually family-friendly with additional food and leisure use which, again, attracts families and encourages dwell time, he adds.

    We benefit from a bigger average basket spend on parks, because of the easy access and proximity to free parking Sean Riley, Poundland

    top retail parks

    Retail World Team Valley, Gateshead three miles south of Newcastle-upon-tyne, this 380,000 sq ft regional

    retail park comprises 27 units. principal occupiers are

    tk Maxx, Next, Boots, Mothercare, arcadia, asda living,

    Currys/pC World.

    Lakeside Retail Park, Thurrock a 380,000 sq ft retail park is adjacent to lakeside shopping Centre. it com-

    prises 21 units with major tenants being Next Home,

    toys r Us and Currys.

    Westwood Cross, Thanet this hybrid retail park/shop-ping centre development, which opened in June 2005,

    sits in the heart of thanet's three core towns Margate,

    ramsgate and Broadstairs. it has 49 retail and leisure

    units including a multiplex cinema, a hotel and restau-

    rants and is anchored by Next, Debenhams, tk Maxx

    and Marks & spencer. it is also home to the first

    out-of-town primark a 70,000 sq ft unit that opened

    in autumn 2012.

    Greyhound Retail Park, Chester it combines three blocks of retail and leisure/restaurant accommoda-

    tion and a separate industrial estate known as Chaser

    Court. the retail units benefit from an open a1 non-food

    planning consent and the park forms part of the wider

    sealand road retail warehousing offer for Chester.

    Kingsway West Retail Park, Dundee a major regional shopping centre in scotland, the park has links to aber-

    deen and Glasgow. the 300,000 sq ft park comprises 19

    units including Dunelm Mill, toys r Us and Homebase.

    Poole Retail Park, Dorset this 208,011 sq ft retail park is undergoing a major upgrade and has been identified

    as one of the first locations for John lewis' new out-of-

    town retail units. tenants also include Mothercare and

    Next Home.

    Ravenside Retail Park, Chesterfield this prime park south of the city centre comprises a DiY unit, terrace of

    five units, a small standalone unit and a restaurant. the

    174,000 sq ft site is home to principal occupiers Currys,

    Next, pets at Home and Debenhams. it was Debenhams

    first full-line, out-of-town venture for a retail park, and

    opened in september 2012.

  • winter 2013 19

    Customer endorsementIf retailers up their game and modernise their approach with their presence on retail parks, customers expectations also change. So what do they actually think about the UKs retail park offer? Exclusive research for A1 unearths some interesting results based on the views of UK shoppers.

    There are several reasons why shoppers opt for the retail park experience 69% of shoppers cite large, free car parks as a key draw and 50% are enticed by a strong selection of big stores with expansive ranges. A convenient location appeals to 40% of shoppers, 28% cited less traffic than nearby urban centres and 33% said the fact parks are less crowded than the high street is attractive.

    Although the growth of etail may have been to the detriment of retail parks, it also brings opportunities, as 13% of respondents said the convenience of picking up online orders at parks was attractive. Retailers then have the opportunity to sell other products to shoppers collecting orders in store. A greater number of retailers offering click-and-collect at local parks would be an improvement to 20% of shoppers. Riley says: Retail parks are the obvious beneficiary of the click-and-collect principle owing to the proximity of car parking.

    The majority of shoppers enjoy frequent trips to retail parks 18% visit once a week while 32% visit two to three times a month. Meanwhile, 36% of respondents visit a park once every two to three months and 14% visit less frequently than that.

    The duration of shoppers visits to retail parks reflects their various missions. Only 6% of customers spend just five minutes on a park, suggesting there is a minority of shoppers who will visit to purchase a single item and leave. The majority (43%) spend about half an hour on retail parks, which suggests they make either one considered purchase on a big-ticket electricals item for example, or nip to several stores for a number of products.

    The study also shows that the mix of retailers shoppers visit is more geared towards fashion where DIY once dominated trips. The research reveals 68% of shoppers visit out-of-town fashion retailers and 44% also seek out footwear.

    Manchester Business School senior lecturer John Pal says the types of retailers on out-of-town parks is diversi-fying. In the early days of the retail park we would not have expected to see shoe shops, traditionally a mainstay of town centres, but now Clarks, Deichmann, Brantano and Schuh all have a presence on them. One can even find Matalan trading cheek-by-jowl with Next, he says. Next, once a predominantly town centre retailer, has been increasing its presence on retail parks, as has John Lewis at Home they are simply responding to customer demand.

    Short adds there are a number of retailers that comple-ment Brantanos footwear offer. We trade well alongside many retailers but have a preference for those with regular footfall and those who also appeal to the family audience. These include Boots, Next, Pets at Home, Hobbycraft and Toys R Us, he says.

    And shoppers are enjoying the developments. Nearly 40% of those surveyed believe the selection of retailers has improved in recent years. A number of retailers including Matalan, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams are specifi-cally cited as brands that shoppers want to see.

    Homewares and home improvement remain a key draw to retail parks, as 49% of those surveyed visit homewares stores and 45% visit DIY specialists. Department stores, too, are popular with 49% heading for them. Dixons will be buoyed by the 46% of shoppers who visit its stores after it became the largest out-of-town electricals retailer last year when rival Comet fell into administration.

    Toys, health and beauty and sportswear stores tempt about 30% of respondents to retail parks. US giant Toys R Us proves a pull for parents to drive to and allows children to roam its vast stores. Providing ample parking for child-rens specialists is vital as competition in the lucrative sector heats up. Mothercare is rolling out its out-of-town format, first trialled at its Edmonton store, while Kiddicare offers buggy fittings in the car park making space by its stores key.

    a wider range of retailers such as baby specialist Mothercare and homewares retailer Next Home are expanding their presence out of town

    g

  • Report

    winter 201320

    Supermarkets are an out-of-town attraction for 31% of shoppers. Although the major grocers regularly fi nd stand-alone sites for large stores, food retailers remain anchor tenants at retail parks and provide strong, regular footfall as customers conduct their weekly shop.

    33% of shoppers visit retail parks for their leisure off er and, with the impact of online, off ering an experience alongside the products the customer needs will be vital in winning shoppers. Tesco has introduced a raft of new leisure brands including restaurant Giraff e and coff ee shop Harris + Hoole into its Watford Extra store and this move is likely to be a key trend for large grocers.

    A new age of retail parksRetail parks are reinventing themselves because of the eff ect of the digital age and the impact of rising fuel prices on their location.

    Leisure options that cannot be replicated online including cinemas, restaurants and leisure centres are becoming increasingly common and there remains an opportunity to improve on or build new leisure facilities. 24% of shoppers said there were no leisure options on the retail parks they visit while 36% would use them if they were present. Moreover, 26% said a greater selection of leisure facilities would improve their local park.

    Retailing alone these days at a retail park just isnt enough a diverse off er for a complete day out is the way forward, says Andrew Patterson, founder of store design specialist Mynt, who believes service levels on retail parks need to be improved. While we have the usual range of retailers, we now also have gyms, restaurants, cinemas and even hotels.

    We need to take note of the retail direction in the Middle East, which truly transforms shopping into a leisure experience, Patterson says. Im not saying we should necessarily open a snow-covered mountain or introduce a walkthrough aquarium. But surely as the original global leaders in retail we should be able to up our game and give consumers a real reason to visit the full-price retail parks.

    Improving the existing retail proposition remains a key focus for many parks. The majority of those surveyed (46%) said a wider range of retailers would be the main improve-ment made to their local park. A signifi cant number of shoppers (36%) also said improved public transport links would improve their experience at their local park while 9% desired more childcare facilities.

    The future looks bright for UK retail parks as destinations adapt to new shopping habits. Mackrill says: Retail parks need to capitalise on their convenient accessible locations so customers pick up or return goods via retail park stores. This brings shoppers back into the retail environment and often means new spending in store occurs.

    Ultimately, retail parks sharp mix of attractive brands, enjoyable experience and convenient locations look likely to continue to prove a winning formula.

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  • winter 2013 21

    Retail is nothing if not routed in detail and the fundamentals that dictate retail success do not mean that new projects must be cut from the same cloth. Two of Land Securities key retail developments are at opposite ends of the country and

    also in many ways opposite ends of the retail spectrum.Glasgows retail heritage has been forged over a decade of

    extraordinary sales growth and the Land Securities projects involve the past, present and future. The hugely successful Buchanan Galleries reshaped retail in the city and earlier this year the offer was further enhanced by a new retail block on Buchanan Street. This has brought with it more international names, among them fast-fashion powerhouse Forever 21.

    The retail offer will be transformed by the ongoing project to add to Buchanan Galleries, which includes an anchor Marks & Spencer store, and its direct connection to Glasgows bus and train hubs. Once finished in 2017, Glasgows retail and cultural heritage will be better linked, while travelling into the city will also be easier, faster and more easily navigable. Proposed improvements to the food and beverage offer will also make the area a night-time destination in a city that has become synonymous with its thriving after-hours scene.

    Head to the South, and the proposed improvements to Oxfords Westgate scheme have sat among several owners for a number of years. Spearheaded by a partnership between Land Securities and The Crown Estate, fresh momentum is behind a planning application to extend and transform the retail offer. In addition, there are plans to deliver two new public spaces and to create a vibrant food and beverage hub, anchored by a boutique five-screen cinema.

    Westgates long gestation before the current owners took over in 2010 has been a source of frustration for Oxford but in some ways may prove a blessing in disguise. The role of shopping centres as retail and leisure destinations has trans-formed over recent years, as has the integration of digital and physical retail, which is reflected in the plans for Westgate.

    About a fifth of the space at Westgate will be dedicated to food and beverage. The scheme will also include a high-end cinema offer and even its anchor John Lewis has been able to compress its format, in part through its own efficiencies as well as through the use of online in its physical stores.

    What has also become clear has been the importance of reinvigorating retail in urban settings. The biggest opening of this year was the Trinity Leeds project in the centre of Leeds which was created as a new retail heart of the city seamlessly interlinked with the main thoroughfares and both Glasgow and Oxford plan to reinvigorate the retail offer in the same way.

    In Glasgow, the retail demand has enabled development which, over time, has evolved to encompass the latest retail formats and concepts and to meet changing consumer needs. In Oxford, the move may be a little more revolutionary, bringing several important new components to the retail and leisure offer in the city in one go. Yet even here that revolution is set in the closely held parameters of a city enthralled with its dreaming spires and determined to deliver a more contempo-rary centre sympathetic to its historical legacy.

    With both schemes due to open in 2017, there is plenty of time for retail to run through more transformations and, as such, the design of both encompasses the need to remain flexible and forward thinking, matching both cities heritage with the ever-changing face of contemporary retail. l

    Development

    Take one affluent yet underperforming market in the South and one soaring retail city in the North and you have the locations for Land Securities

    two proposed developments. Mark Faithfull reports

    orthSoUthand

  • more than a third come from outside the UK. Tourists inject 150m of retail spend annually, from more than 1 million staying visits and 8 million day visits. The opportu-nity for development sounds a very interesting one.

    Shopping in Oxford is focused around two or three main streets with the citys largest shopping centre, Westgate, on the southwest fringe of the shopping core. Westgate totals 330,000 sq ft and is anchored by Primark, which sits alongside other retailers such as Sainsburys, Oasis and New Look.

    In 2010, Land Securities bought a 50% stake in Westgate and the adjacent development site for 28m, and formed a partnership with the centres owner, The Crown Estate. The centre has passed through a number of ownerships and plans to develop the scheme have been on the board since 2001, when initial proposals were called in by the Secretary of State. Clearly Oxford has been waiting a long time for this promised major revamp.

    winter 201322

    Think Oxford and its famous univer-sity heritage, its dreaming spires and perhaps even a curmudgeonly but cultivated, classical music-loving detective might come to mind. Already an inspiring location

    bursting with scholars, students and tourists, the city has, however, not always delivered to the same degree when it comes to its retail offer.

    For all the heritage and elegant buildings that give the city its curb appeal and help make it a tourist magnet, the current stock of retail buildings bring with them constraints in terms of access, size and suitability for modern retail requirements.

    As an affluent, southeast England city Oxford boasts a catchment of 429,170 people with an annual spend of 4.2bn Oxford simply does not have enough retail space for the demand. Oxford is also just an hour from London and has a student population of more than 30,000, of which o

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    Oxfords retail offer is to be transformed with the new development plans and repositioning of its Westgate shopping centre. Mark Faithfull looks at what the famous university city can expect

    Development

  • 23winter 2013

    Plans to develop Oxford include retail expansion and an enhanced food, beverage and leisure offer

    Westgate, OxfOrd

    Type extension and refurbishment

    Developed by Westgate Oxford alliance, partnership by Land

    securities, the Crown estate

    Completion expected autumn 2017

    Size Current 330,000 sq ft; after extension additional 520,000 sq ft

    Main features More than 100 major retail stores, anchors, new

    restaurants, five-screen cinema,

    small residential component,

    new public spaces

    Anchor John Lewis

    We saw Oxford as a great development opportunity and we were very keen to do the deal, recalls Land Securities development director Bert Martin. The previous owner had already received planning permission but at the time we were in the teeth of the recession. We took the time to look afresh and to consider what was viable, while being sensitive to the setting as well.

    Indeed the current ownership Westgate Oxford Alliance Limited Partnership builds on the success of a number of Land Securities destinations across heritage cities such as Canterbury and Exeter, where the close relationship between The Crown Estate and Land Securi-ties was first formed at Princesshay.

    Having revisited the initial plans for Oxford, this summer the joint-venture partners unveiled its own updated plans for redeveloping Westgate, proposing an extension to the existing shopping centre and adjacent land. Plans include a greater total retail expansion, a redefined John Lewis and a significantly enhanced food, beverage and leisure offer.

    Plans show 100 new stores, including a 140,000 sq ft John Lewis department store, cafes and rooftop restaurants, a five-screen cinema, a 1,000-space car park,

    covered streets and two new public squares. A small plot of new homes adjacent to Castle Mill Stream is also being proposed.

    A more detailed planning application is to be submitted this autumn, with Land Securities hopeful of ascent by the City Council after Christmas. This consent would allow enabling works to begin in 2014 and building work is due to start the year after for an opening in autumn 2017. The new centre will be largely open air, integrated with the central Oxford streetscape. A two-storey basement car park with 1,000 spaces will replace the existing multi-storey Westgate car park, which will be demolished.

    John Lewis will be built as the anchor for the southern edge of the new Westgate scheme.

    Martin says: It [John Lewis] will be one of its compact full-line department stores and reflects the way that it has become more efficient at compressing their back of house and storage to create a smaller total footprint.

    He adds: That and moving the car park underground have enabled us to create a larger footprint for the rest of the retail than had been envisaged in the original plans. The cinema will be on the first and second floors and will be a boutique-style operation, with plans for a roof terrace offering views of Oxford. g

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    Martin says responses to the initial consultation have been broadly very positive. He notes that this being Oxford, as you can imagine vociferous, well-informed and articulate feedback from stakeholder groups has helped to place emphasis on how the plans are taken forward and how the project remains faithful to the spirit of the city. One of the issues has been about height, because the City Council understandably wants to ensure that views of the dreaming spires are unhindered, Martin reflects. Its worth stressing that this is not an internal, capsule mall being dropped into the city but a scheme that is outward facing and very much integrated with its surroundings. But that said we appreciate that we have to ensure the architecture and layout is sympathetic to the location.

    The development is not being carried out in solace but is set to act as a catalyst for major changes to transport in the city, with plans to close Norfolk Street and reroute buses through Thames Street and Abbey Place. Martin notes that about half of visitors to Oxford arrive by bus either on regular routes or through the park and ride scheme. He says the partnership wants to dovetail with this and to ensure new bus stops work with the various entrances to the new scheme.

    Living in the cityOxford City Council is also working on a masterplan for the Oxpens area, a new city centre neighbourhood close to the Westgate centre. Initial proposals include 125 houses and 172 apartments, a 150-room hotel and new student accommodation. If the masterplan is approved, the council will have to select a developer for the project and will then sell the land. Work is expected to begin in 2015.

    In addition, as part of Network Rails 300m plan to revamp the rail infrastructure in the city, a new station will have been built on the site of the existing one by 2019. Network Rail wants to add a third platform to the west of the station and replace the Botley Road bridge to cater for the extra track, also widening the road space below. Only an hours commute to London and a new retail develop-ment that will draw from the wide catchment, improved rail plans only add to the appeal of Oxford.

    Securing John Lewis was critical to the project and the store, which will create 500 jobs and feature a cafe, online order collection points and computer terminals in the branch, which will allow shoppers to browse the wider John Lewis online offer and order for home delivery or next-day collection at the shop.

    John Lewis managing director Andy Street said on confirmation of the deal: Oxford has long been a sought-after location for us and were delighted to be able to expand our reach to customers across the region for the first time. It will provide them with more convenient access to our inspiring products and great service. Were looking forward to becoming part of the local community.

    Martin feels that the re-engineering of the scheme to optimise the John Lewis store is also reflected in the broader approach. He notes that the changes in plans for

    the revitalised Westgate also run in parallel with the way retailers have evolved their requirements. Of course, designing a scheme of this nature, with delivery antici-pated in late 2017, provides challenges to ensure that as innovations in retail alter, the design can change in parallel. The research, which has underpinned the feasibility study undertaken by the Partnership, revealed a genuine demand from retailers for a substantial amount of modern retail space in the city. In fact Oxford has remained top of the list of requirements for UK retailers in recent years, let alone international brands.

    Retailers needs are changing all the time. For example, if you look at our proposals now, 15% of the floorspace will be A3 and we would like to get that up to nearer 20%, Martin explains. The retail landscape has changed a great deal in the past few years and retailers have been grappling with what that means for their store estates. Its not necessarily just about bigger stores its about flexibility and the right configuration. Well be working hard to ensure that this project provides that flexibility, so that it works as their needs continue to evolve over the next four years.

    So what happens next? Following the first public consultation on the Alliances scheme, a second consulta-tion will be held later in the year on more detailed designs, which will also include two new public spaces. Martin points out that although thoughts of Oxford naturally turn to the famous university quadrangles, many of these are in fact private and not easily accessible. As a result the public spaces will provide the city with a much-needed injection of breathing space. The Partnership will start on site in late 2014, with a three-year construction process to deliver the new development.

    From this it would also be fair to deduce that Westgate will follow on from the learnings at Trinity Leeds, where Land Securities applied its latest thinking in terms of retail and leisure destinations. The new scheme will boast rooftop restaurants overlooking the city and will also embrace digital technology to combine the best of the physical and virtual for shoppers and retailers.

    Whats very clear is that there are lots of retailers trading out of undersized units in the city, or who cant get into Oxford at all, identifying a clear development opportunity, says Martin. We have not started the major marketing of the centre but have instead been in discussions with particular partners and the feedback so far has been hugely encouraging.

    Oxford, more used to being considered in the elite, has had to battle competition from London, Reading and even premier designer outlet Bicester Village for shoppers money and has seen a lot of retail spend leaking out of the city to its nearby rivals, says Martin. The new Westgate should change the balance, providing a scheme that is not only sympathetic to the heritage of its host city but also brings new public space, leisure and much more fresh retail to a city. This should become even more appealing to its residents and visitors from across the globe. l

    We have to ensure the architecture and layout is sympathetic to the location Bert Martin, Land Securities

    transport links in Oxford are being revamped

  • winter 2013 25

    GLaSGowLineGlasgow home to next years Commonwealth Games is already firmly established as the UKs best retail location outside London. Its offer was enhanced in March with plans to improve the retail and leisure offer. Mark Faithfull reports

    Of all the reinvented and revitalised cities around the UK, Glasgow surely has to represent the most complete of the transformations. Visitors to the Scottish city in the 1980s and 1990s might have been confronted

    by remnants of its industrial past and found its gritty urban reputation largely intact. But that is a far cry from the cosmopolitan and cultural atmosphere proffered by the modern-day city.

    Glasgow offers access to a huge catchment of 2.9 million, with a comparison goods spend of 2.56bn. It is Scotlands largest urban economy and is ranked second by

    CACI in its UK Retail Ranking (2013) of towns and cities around the country. More than 440,000 people work in the city, 63% of Glasgows population is aged under 45 and Glasgow in 2017 is forecast an increase in retail market potential to 2.59bn.

    Land Securities has been at the heart of that transformation. In March, chief executive Robert Noel was joined by Scotlands Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to mark the latest iteration in the citys ongoing retail evolution as they officially opened Scotlands newest mixed-use shopping development, including a residential rooftop garden scheme, on Buchanan Street. g

  • winter 201326

    Development

    Noel could have been forgiven for a sense of dj vu, having opened the much-anticipated Trinity Leeds shopping centre just 24 hours earlier.

    The 115,000 sq ft Glasgow scheme debuted fully let, successfully attracted national and international brands, including the first stores in Scotland for US fashion powerhouse Forever 21, Vans, Paperchase, Evans Cycles, Fat Face, Skechers, Office, Watches of Switzerland and Gap.

    The 70m development sits opposite The Buchanan Partnerships Buchanan Galleries a joint venture between Land Securities and Henderson Global Investors. The Buchanan Street development consists of 49 luxury apartments which are due for completion later this year and are already 80% reserved as well as nine shops. It is positioned to exploit and expand the high levels of footfall in the area, estimated at 91 million shopper visits a year.

    Replacing the former Atlas building, Land Securities development director for retail Nick Davis says the new retail block was created as a modern space for retailers, which was lacking in the city. It has also boosted retail at the north end of the street.

    Davis points to the fact that the north end of Buchanan Street, where the new retail is sited, has become a prime pitch. This is because of the introduction of the new national and international brands, which have performed strongly since opening in March.

    The next major phase of retail expansion in Glasgow is Buchanan Galleries, which is scheduled for completion in 2017. The extension will add more than 650,000 sq ft of retail space to the centre, and Marks & Spencer has already signed up to anchor the extension with a 150,000 sq ft store.

    Seamless cityBuchanan Galleries aims to attract a new raft of national and international brands to Glasgow, as well as 15 new restaurants and a multiplex cinema.

    The extension will bring more important names to Glasgow, a number of which we anticipate to be opening their first UK stores outside of London, says Davis. New tenants and a massively improved food and leisure offer will transform the centre. By modernising the existing building it will have the same look and feel as the extension offering customers one seamless destination.

    Buchanan Galleries has J