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25 ANNIVERSARY


case that the UK consumer is an ever-shifting and increasingly disloyal shimmering mirage. Perhaps the only sure thing in these challenging times is that they hail from one of eight key demographic groups. Young children, teenagers and young adults, family formation, maturing families, empty and emptying nesters, pre-retirement, younger retired and the older retired were the eight key demographic groups identified by retail property organisation BCSC in its Future of Retail Property report issued in 2006. “Anticipating the ever-shifting wants and needs of today’s


demanding consumer is the major challenge facing our industry,” said John Strachan who was BCSC president when the report, carried out in association with Verdict Consulting, was launched. “That is just as true today as it was then,” Strachan, now chairman


of retail for Cushman & Wakefield, says. “Today, however, there are additional challenges which the market is having to grapple with and for which it hasn’t found solutions for yet. They are mostly economic in nature with consumer spending levels and footfall at the forefront.


“The best locations will hold their own and flourish but the market


has contracted and some centres are being left around the edges and it will be an issue for communities and governments. Secondary and third tier centres face huge challenges – anything from 10 to 20 per cent vacancy rates to their very survival. This hasn’t happened overnight – but it has been exacerbated by the recession.” The changing retailscape is, naturally, a mirror of consumer trends.


Recent economic woes aside, a good portion of the last 20 years has been about growth. Between 1990 and 2004 retail consumer spend grew by an annual


average of 4.9 per cent. BCSC research also predicted a fall to an annual average of 3.3 per cent in the years to 2015. This was, of course, before the current recession. Online sales were predicted to account for 11 per cent of total retail spend by 2015. BCSC predicted that by the year 2015 the over-55s would be on course to be the dominant shopping group, having increased by 2.2 million between 2005 and 2015 to encompass 18.9 million people.


March 2004


April 2004


August 2004


August 2004


The second phase of St Martin’s 800,000 sq ft Central shopping centre in Croydon opened 90 per cent let.


started work on the 350,000 sq ft Antoinine shopping centre in Cumbernauld.


London & Regional Properties


Festival Gardens were 98 per cent let ahead of the official launch on August 13.


Springfields Outlet and


Northern Ireland’s Junction One opened on August 31. Sales at the 150,000 sq ft centre, near Antrim, reached double the expected figure.


www.shopping-centre.co.uk August 2011 SHOPPING CENTRE


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