From Crisis Comes Opportunity - Access Point.
It’s an age old adage – that when an environment changes and there’s talk of a ‘crisis’, the most astute are aware of the risks but also recognise the opportunities presented.
Is the retail industry in ‘crisis’? Not from our standpoint. It’s certainly changed and is continuing to change massively but we’re seeing evidence every day at Access Point of operators adapting and making the most of the changing landscape.
We’re approaching our 21st year in commercialisation. In that time we’ve been part of some of the most innovative commercialisation partnerships around. We’ve seen examples of how the best commercialisation is done to benefit traders, agents, landlords and most importantly; shoppers. Retail is evolving, not dying.
Never has the opportunity been so great for businesses in every corner of the commercialisation process.
Retailers and landlords are embracing commercialisation, committing valuable resources to not only make it happen but to improve and actively help promoters to succeed.
On the PR front, in an era of Instagram Stories and social media validation, venues actively encourage partners to tag them, share pictures and boast about successes on their turf.
Companies and industries who have historically used promotions as part of their marketing mix have upped their game – many are unrecognisable from their former selves. Which in turn makes their activity all the more successful. And so it goes on – a virtuous circle of wins.
The perception of commercialisation – its potential and its worth – has transformed.
At Access Point we’ve kept apace with that change. We attended Revo Manchester 2018 for the second year in September to contribute to conversations around the importance of tenant mix, the trend for large brands to downsize and what that means for landlords and the growth in flexible, more nimble retailers as well as the impact of less onerous landlord covenants.
The commercialisation sector is almost unrecognisable to the industry of the 90s and the mammoth changes its experienced have only improved the sector enormously.
Revo Manchester 2018 only served to validate many commercialisation veterans’ opinions that retail isn’t declining, it is evolving into something else – something better.
Just as supermarkets in the early 50s changed shopping forever, another change is happening. According to the ONS, Consumer retail spending (ex fuel) over the last five years has grown from £334 billion (Aug 2013 – Jul 2014) to £374 billion (Aug 2017 – Jul 2018) of which only 18% is online. There is still a lot of shopping going on!
Retail, both as a discretionary and non-discretionary spend is still a growth industry and consumers now expect more from where they shop; be it online, at the supermarket or in retail parks and shopping centres. That means standards are rising.
If you put great products, marketed well, in front of your target consumers in a shopping environment then you will succeed and it is now in landlords’ interests that you do.
The ways in which we can do that are opening up by the day. The best players in the retail industry are putting innovation at the forefront of their strategies in order to reach new and larger audiences and make the most of prime retail space.
News of Sainsbury’s and Oasis trialling a ‘concession partnership’ is a good example of that in practice. It’s the latest in a line of partnerships Sainsbury’s has introduced to offer more to its customers and to support its annual property costs. If the arrangement works for Oasis, the firm can re-evaluate its estate. Could a concession inside a major retailer be the answer for those brands and traders who find high street rates unsustainable?
In many ways large retailers are already trialling this concession model with in-store commercialisation – the proposition is the same, albeit on a smaller scale. In those cases where commercialisation is working hand-in-hand with the retailer to increase the pull, the items on offer and to support an evolving visitor experience, ramping up that activity is a no brainer.
There’s no question, it’s been a momentous year for retail and Revo Manchester 2018 was a fitting way to celebrate it. We’re looking forward to another year supporting some of the country’s best and most innovative traders, landlords and venues and to sharing those success stories at Revo Liverpool 2019!
If you would like to know more about Access Point, please visit our website apuk.net or phone us on +44 (0)1704 544 999.