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6
ANALYSIS
Web of intrigue
A new website is transforming the way Hermes’ shopping centres communicate with
their audiences at both consumer and business-to-business levels
The recession has pushed sustainability
off the top of the shopping centre
industry’s agenda: after all a void unit has
a pretty low carbon footprint. But behind
the scenes progress is still being made.
Cushman & Wakefield is using the web
to co-ordinate green activities in a number of
its managed shopping centres. Its website,
www.bresponsible.co.uk, grew out of the
Bee Aware campaign it managed on behalf
of Hermes and it is now being rolled out for
other clients as well.
According to Trudi Cummins in Cushman
& Wakefield’s asset management team,
the genesis of the idea was a desire to
communicate to a wider audience than
just property professionals. “Hermes
placed sustainability at the core of what it
does, but the challenge was how do we tell
the wider community what we’re doing?” she
says.
After a 12-month development St John’s Centre in Leeds Volunteer Centre.
programme, working with web designers has already recruited over 1,000 members And because of the site’s flexibility
Vuture, the website is now live. It’s a lively, to its Bee Club, which involves children in Cushman & Wakefield is also able to use
colourful site that appeals to children and community initiatives like sunflower planting the B:Responsible site as a portal for
adults alike. And flexibility is key to its design, and cycle safety. its tenant liaison activities. A password-
allowing new sections to be bolted on as “The target is four-to-eleven year olds,” protected section for each centre can host
the concept expands. “It’s always changing, explains Cummins. “They’re too young to environmental data for the centre monitoring
we’re constantly adding more to it,” explains come to the centre on their own so when energy usage, recycling rates and so on.
Cummins. they come they bring their parents. It’s And it will equally become the place
And just as importantly it’s easy to definitely having an impact on footfall when where tenants can go to access marketing
update, so individual centre managers do we hold Bee Club events, and it’s helping plans and service charge budgets. “The
not have to spend hours amending and trade for retailers like The Entertainer.” aim is to have a totally open book,” explains
updating their sites. Eventually, While the Bee Club is for children, the Cummins.
keeping the site up-to-date five components of B:Responsible are aimed The first non-Hermes centre has already
could be one of a manager’s at building closer relationships signed up for the system, and now Cummins’
Key Performance Indicators within the entire community. priority is to offer the service to a wider
when they face their annual Each element – B:Clever, B:Healthy, audience. “The cost is minimal – less than
assessment. B:Green, B:Social and B:Safe – uses £3,000 per centre and that will come down
The B:Responsible site shopping centres as the focal point with economies of scale,” she explains.
will become one of the main to spread the ethos of the campaign, And although B:Responsible is a Cushman
ways centres can communicate using events and promotions unique & Wakefield project it has deliberately kept
with their local communities and to each centre. As part of B:Social, for its own branding off the site, in the hope that
highlight steps they are taking to improve example, The Brunswick held a Village Fete other managing agents will be encouraged
their environmental performance. For event raising £800 for a local charity. to pick it up and run it across their own
instance Crystal Peaks in Sheffield and And B:You, a four-week promotion portfolios, in return for a license fee.
Idlewells in Sutton-in-Ashfield have just taken designed to improve people’s lifestyles,
delivery of their own beehives. Not only are brought all shopping centres involved in the Find out more:
they doing their bit to protect threatened bee scheme together. Each centre hosted a range For more information, please contact the author or
populations but this time next year they will of free activities for both adults and children, visit the website:
be selling their own honey. including a recycling fashion workshop, www.shopping-centre.co.uk/marketing
Another strand focuses on children. The and visits to the Fire Service and Camden graham.parker@jldmedia.com
SHOPPING CENTRE September 2009 www.shopping-centre.co.uk
06-SCSep-Analy.indd 6 23/9/09 17:24:39
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