Great Expectations

By on Jul 5, 2018 in News

LONDON – The evolution of the retail store in the face of growing online sales has been much written about, but shopping centres also can’t afford to be left behind in the age of ecommerce and changing technologies.

This Retail Week report – produced in association with Yardi – explores how retailers view shopping centres and ways that centres can create an environment in which retail doors not only remain open, but thrive in a digital era.

Based on interviews with 50 retail directors responsible for store portfolios – each representing a company with a turnover of between £50m and £10bn – the report finds strong similarities in what retailers want from shopping centres, and reflects changing shopper habits.

Key themes are explored around how shopping centres can better support retailers, including expectations about infrastructure for technology and data, as well as how they can attract new entrants. The right mix between retail, leisure and dining is a fundamental attraction, while providing wi-fi is a prerequisite for retailers setting up shop in malls, which has both customer-facing and operational benefits.

The future opportunities for shopping centres to enhance their performance, while diverse, are all underpinned by robust data. Decisions are increasingly data-led, and while current platforms – typically management software and spreadsheets – for data sharing have been well-received by retailers, there’s a strong feeling centre owners could provide more information. In particular, they want detail about footfall, dwell time and average spend, to better understand the local catchment and to adapt store space accordingly.

Common themes for shopping centre investment over the next 12 months, according to our surveyed retailers, include keeping up with new technology, integrating ecommerce and opening new stores – all of which are elements that new entrants such as brands and etailers are looking to invest in.

Throughout the report, best practice examples are considered that showcase how retailers are grappling with digital change and how centres should innovate. Download the free report here.