Online retail continues to change the shopping landscape, and people have adapted their leisure behavior as a result of the pandemic. Consequently, the role of shopping centers needs to be rethought. Shopping centers are no longer straightforward “shopping machines”, but must prove themselves as sustainable and versatile community centers, argues HBB.
Across the outlet market, we’ve started to see a growing number of brands, including Hugo Boss, Adidas, and Tommy Hilfiger, actively seeking larger retail spaces with a clear objective: to elevate and enrich the ‘flagship’ outlet in-store experience, explains Dan Mason is Managing Director Realm. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the UK’s first outlet center, and as we look ahead to the next decade for this resilient retail sector, what will be the defining trends of Outlet 3.0?
“One of the most surefire ways for management companies to optimize revenue for brands is to find ways to improve customer loyalty and to ensure both new and repeat visits,” states Sergio Jiménez, Marketing & IT Director at NEINVER.
Many of the headwinds that have buffeted the global economy over the past 12 months remain very much at the forefront of investors’ minds. However, in tandem with this, investors like Mitiska REIM are also seeing a number of structural tailwinds in support of retail parks and wider convenience real estate.
As a center launched 20 years ago, Festival Place was originally designed for an era in which ‘big box’ retailers dominated. The demise of high street brands such as Debenhams and Topshop changed the landscape for retail landlords, while the breakneck pace of the e-commerce revolution and the subsequent impact of the Covid-19 pandemic have changed consumer behaviour irrevocably. The team behind Festival Place have responded with a renewed emphasis on the leisure offer, closer engagement with the local community and delivering a range of events and services that all serve to keep the center relevant and to drive continued footfall.
The prospect of getting a slice of UK retail is not without its risks, regardless of whether the bottom of the market has been hit in terms of shopping center investment. For many first-time buyers in this asset class, the time to focus on getting the basics right has come.
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