This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

SouthGate, Bath “W

Owned by Aviva Investors and Multi Development and managed by DTZ, the first phase of SouthGate, Bath opened with 13 stores trading on 4 November 2009

e opened one sixth of a 420,000-sq ft scheme in the first phase so we had to market it carefully, letting people know what was opening when and pushing the

phasing dates,” says general manager, Simon Pullen. Because of the staggered opening, Pullen admits that footfall “wasn’t great” at the beginning, but he points out that if it hadn’t opened in phases it could have been closed for another year. And there were benefits – the handful of store openings each month allowed management staff to build up relationships with tenants before a new wave moved in. There are currently 51 tenants including anchor Debenhams,

Sainsbury’s, Urban Outfitters, Hollister, All Saints, Kurt Geiger and Apple, reflecting Bath’s catchment – 60 per cent of the city’s population are ABC1s – as well as Little SouthGate, an arcade of 13 independents. The catering element, which has brought a lively evening economy, is made up of Pizza Express, Giraffe, Jimmy Spices, Krispy Kreme and Cosy Club, among others. “I’m surprised how well the restaurants trade,” says Pullen. “It’s

something Bath missed, before there wasn’t much in the way of a catering offer in the area. On Saturdays between 12-3pm there are queues outside Giraffe and Pizza Express - they’ve bought life to the scheme and I think we’ve got it right for the family market.” Queensberry heads up leasing for the scheme which is currently 96

per cent let by floor space. North Face is due to open in time for the Christmas rush, leaving

three of 62 units void. There has been interest in those as well as in already-tenanted units, showing excess demand for the right space. According to Pullen, there was a real focus on getting the tenant mix

right from the off. “Both locals and nationals are looking for more space in the area,” he explains. “We could have been fully let a lot quicker had we compromised.”

Footfall reached 14.5m in 2010, significantly up on the national trend. Part of the scheme’s success is down to the strong partnership

between managing agent DTZ and FM services contractor OCS. Part of the strategy is to have the front-line staff acting as

ambassadors of the scheme, which is why they’ve been given new uniforms with the words ‘how can I help?’ printed on the back. “Security and cleaning staff are the first people see of the centre 90 per cent of the time so it’s really important,” says OCS area director, Nigel Harrison. “Security can be intimidating so they all have customer care training to make sure they’re approachable. That way visitors see a friendly face and know they can ask for help.” The challenge ahead is to work around the residents in the scheme’s

99 apartments. “We do a quarterly jet-wash and in the past it’s been done during the

night. Now there are issues in terms of noise regulations – the trick is to adhere to those restrictions while making sure there’s no loss to service levels.

“It will involve careful planning and managing - we might only have

two hours, 6am-8am, in which to get most of the cleaning done. Before we would come in and blitz the whole scheme but now we’re going to have to work block by block.” As for the future, Pullen’s focus is on promoting Bath as a destination

by sharing best practice and advice with other businesses. “We can learn a lot from different people in different areas,” he says.

“The ultimate aim is to get people to enjoy shopping and eating here. “It’s been a tough time for the retail property sector, one of the

toughest in living memory, but we’ll continue to listen to retailers and consumers. By working with tenants, we can maximise what we can do together and pick up problems before our retailers get into difficulty.” The Vaults, an open plaza designed to have a continental feel with

5,500 sq ft of restaurant space represents the final component of the scheme. Work is nine months in and due to be complete in time for Christmas 2012.

Find out more: For more information, please contact the author: November 2011 SHOPPING CENTRE

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44