Experts from Hammerson, Benoy, Dennis Hobbs and Cushman & Wakefield debated the issues shaping the UK retail market and how the UK stacks up against retail markets around the world.
Press release- The UK will see further digital innovation and penetration, a further increase in food and beverage (‘F&B’) at shopping centres and more sophisticated retail offers in transports hubs, according to a panel of industry experts at the MAPIC UK launch breakfast.
A panel of experts comprising Sheila King (Director of Leasing, Hammerson), Graham Cartledge CBE (Chairman, Benoy), David Harper, (CEO, Harper Dennis Hobbs) and John Strachan, (Global Head of Retail, Cushman & Wakefield) debated the issues shaping the UK retail market, and how the UK is faring relative to other key and emerging retail markets around the world.
According to the panel, retail brands are focused on ‘the top 25 to 30 centres’ with international brands most likely to enter the UK market via a flagship store at prime centres. However, even landlords in the UK have to create a place people want to visit. According to the panel, the increase in F&B in UK shopping centres has been dramatic with Bullring, Birmingham, which was just 3% F&B on opening, and is 20% ten years later, exemplifying this. As well as an increase in F&B, the nature of these outlets is changing, with street food, and new bespoke food products complementing fast food outlets which has traditionally been a staple at UK shopping centres.
The evolution of multi-channel retail was discussed, with House of Fraser identified as a pioneer of the ‘click and collect’ format in Aberdeen in 2011. Indeed, the consensus offered was that the UK retail market was the most advanced in Western Europe in terms of reaching consumers across ‘multi-channels’, but with new multi-channel concepts starting to emerge in Asia and the US.
The panel discussed whether the UK should follow the lead of some markets in Asia, which are exploiting the opportunity for multi-channel retail at transport hubs. London has over 300 underground and overground tube stations, each with substantial daily footfall. If Wi-Fi was available on the tube network it would create huge opportunities for retailers, with the panel suggesting that the ‘dead time’ spent travelling could be spent browsing online, with collection points across the tube network. The panel suggested that innovation in this area is on the horizon.
Sara Rozenfarb, Sales Director for MAPIC at Reed MIDEM, said:
“Innovation in retail is at the heart of MAPIC, and this year’s conference will look at developments in the UK’s vibrant and diverse market, and also in the world’s most exciting emerging markets, India, China, Brazil and Russia. For the first time, MAPIC will bring together F&B providers and examine the future of retail in transport hubs, and the future of multi-channel, three of the issues most prominent in this debate.”
MAPIC 2013, which will take place 13 – 15 November, will focus on Retail’s Rising Stars; India, China, Brazil and Russia. This year’s conference will include the MAPIC Digital Summit; a dedicated Food and Beverage pavilion, a leisure exhibition centre titled ‘Retailtainment’, and a series of pitching sessions focused on Retail in Transport Hubs.
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