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New research: convenience and 'destination' are key to future proofing UK shopping centres

A new study has found that shopping centres are well-placed to maximise consumer spend particularly from younger age groups.


New research: convenience and 'destination' are key to future proofing UK shopping centres

A new study has found that shopping centres are well-placed to maximise consumer spend particularly from younger age groups.

According to the new Spotlight: Retail Revolutions report from Savills and Intu, shopping centres topped the ranking for purchasing clothing and footwear, with 43.4% of respondents placing them in their top three preferred locations.

The preference for shopping centres was even more pronounced among 16 to 24 year olds and 25 to 34 year olds, with 62.9% and 53.4% respectively placing them in their top three shopping destinations.

Mark Simms, head of shopping centre agency at Savills, explained: “The appeal of shopping centres, particularly amongst younger demographic groups, highlights the role the wider retail environment can play in attracting consumers. In turn, this maximises the performance of individual retailers. Shopping centres generally fall under a single management strategy, putting them in a better position to deliver a more comprehensive and attractive shopping environment with the additional leisure facilities and other amenities that today’s consumers expect.”

The report also highlights the potential opportunity for shopping centres to become ‘destinations’ in their own right.

Marie Hickey, commercial research director at Savills, said: “For shopping centres, the variety of the retail offer, introduction of new brands, shopper events and food amenities are all factors that can be combined to enhance the destination appeal and provide a competitive edge with augmented ‘draw factor’ for consumers.”

Other findings from the research include the need for convenience in terms of shopping centres for 55 to 64 year olds who placed this as a priority over destination. This went some way to explaining why a large proportion of this age group ranked small local high streets (45%) and online shopping (40%) in their top three preferred locations. City centre based schemes were also popular with this group.

Rebecca Ryman, regional director, Intu, added: “Striking the balance between destination and convenience is fundamental for shopping centre landlords wanting to deliver an overall offer and experience that meets the everyday needs of their local catchment. A strong and diverse retail offer supported by the right leisure facilities and combined with ease of access are key to generating a wider appeal and thus helping to future-proof the success of a shopping centre.”

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