Retail Reboot: the reinvention of retail parks
The latest in a series of roundtable webinars as part of our Retail Reboot campaign.
Before the pandemic the battle ground for customers had been between the High Street and retail parks but now it is between them and the Internet. Both need to change their overall offering to attract customers and have their own distinct propositions.
One of the many unintended consequences of Covid-19 has been the reinvention of the out-of-town retail parks. Often dismissed as soulless and already hit by closure programmes and the collapse of chains like Comet, Toy R Us and Mothercare, a renaissance would have seemed unlikely before the pandemic struck. However the ease of access by car for those wary of travelling on public transport, free parking and more open space meant customers felt safer and could enjoy the experience in their ‘bubbles’.
To future proof retail parks we need to break down their dependence on cars and provide better links to transport and town centres. Retail parks need to be accessible and not located on the wrong side of ring roads.
Retailers that evolve their approach and use their retail park stores to offer a more convenient and engaging customer offering will be those that succeed. There is also a growing demand for retail parks to offer more mixed use including residential, co-working and leisure spaces.
Our webinar looks at what’s next for retail parks and where there is likely to be the biggest demand for alternative uses.
Peter Foskett, Real Estate Partner at RWK Goodman
is head of the firm’s team of lawyers specialising in developer work. Peter works with a number of commercial landlords and retailers and also advises on new development site acquisition and strategic land development options.
Jonathan De Mello, Partner at CWM Retail Consulting
specialises in providing tailored solutions to clients in the retail, retail banking, retail property and public sector including Aveda, Barclays, Burger King, Dyson, HSBC, Jo Malone and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. He is an elected member of the KPMG/IPSOS Retail Think Tank, and regularly provides expert commentary on the retail and property sectors in national and international media; having appeared as a retail expert on the BBC, ITN, Sky and Radio 4’s Today Program, and contributed to articles printed in the FT, Times, Telegraph, Economist and various specialist retail/property publications.
Jonathan’s Twitter feed was recently listed by Retail Week in the top 100 ‘most influential’ Twitter feeds to follow.
Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown
is on their share research team, providing research and regular articles on a selection of individual companies and wider sectors. Sophie’s specialities are retail, fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs), aerospace & defence as well as a few of the big tech names including Facebook and Apple.
Chris McGarrigle, Head of Estates at Tim Hortons
deals with asset management, new store acquisitions including town panning of 200 Domino stores and rent reviews and lease renewals across the Group.