Partnerships will deliver economic and social value28 September 2016
Our annual conference in Manchester generated lots of interesting debate and produced a raft of insightful comment from a diverse line-up of speakers - experts from within the industry and beyond, sharing their views and perspectives on the dynamic world of retail property and place making.
One key theme that came up repeatedly in the panel sessions and during my exchanges with colleagues on the conference floor, was the role of strategic partnerships in delivering a more productive market, local economic growth and social capital. This is even more important in this period of immense political and economic change.
Competitiveness in the retail market continues to intensify.
Online sales growth means retailers and landlords have to be flexible and agile, adapting the form and function of physical space, and indeed their business models, to create the most productive sales and service channels in this onmni-channel world of retailing.
At the same time, devolution is empowering and incentivising local authorities to engage more with the private sector to deliver retail-led regeneration and redevelopment at a local level.
In response to these changes; partnerships between investors, occupiers, technology companies and the public sector are evolving in recognition of all our shared objectives but different challenges.
Property companies and occupiers are working more and more in partnership on initiatives to boost footfall and sales to differentiate physical retail from online by creating a sense of theatre, experience and service offering to shoppers. Shared customer data, joint marketing and promotional campaigns and improved levels of understanding and engagement are all examples of this.
In light of the devolution agenda investors and developers are working in even closer partnership with the public sector in order to deliver retail-led redevelopment.
Creating a sense of place, spaces that people use, shape and value, is key and there is a level of responsibility on the industry to work with local decision makers and local people to deliver this.
This prompts a shift in the approach of big property companies to better articulate their role in generating social as well as economic capital - in terms of job creation, training and skills, improved local infrastructure and amenities and supporting the businesses, particularly SMEs, who take space in their scheme.
At Revo we are committed to harnessing and developing these relationships as the community that works with occupiers, owners, local councils and all the advisors and consultants that support the market. Only with effective partnerships will we create an efficient and dynamic market.