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Martin Perry

The future of retail development

​The creation of 24 hour mixed use digitally integrated shopping based experience is the challenge set before us today. But with many past leaders of retail development having reduced their skilled resources, how will the industry respond to this challenge?

​According to Wednesday's FT referring to statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Britain has finally started to enjoy a rapid economic recovery in line with normal rebounds after a recession. The historical performance of retail led property development which emerges immediately after an economic downturn has traditionally been very strong by taking advantage of rebounding consumer confidence, the corresponding increase in rents and reduction in incentive packages whilst still being delivered at recessionary construction costs. It should be the optimum time for development and certainly Henderson with schemes like St. James Quarter in Edinburgh, Silverhill Scheme in Winchester and Buchannan Galleries in Glasgow, we are in an ideal position to take advantage of this “sweet spot” in the economic cycle.

However what differs this time around is that there has been fundamental structural changes in the retail industry and how we respond to this change will determine the success of the investment to a much greater degree than in the past.

Embracing multi-channel shopping options, the role of food and entertainment, shopping as a leisure activity and the attractiveness of a town or city as a whole rather than the just the scheme itself are just some of the areas that require a different level of thought beyond that of the formulaic approach which has dominated shopping centre development since the emergence of the first Arndale's in the 70’s. The breadth and complexity of thought for a new development in this post recessionary market requires skills beyond the old school shopping centre developers.

The creation of 24 hour mixed use digitally integrated shopping based experience is the challenge set before us today. But with many past leaders of retail development having reduced their skilled resources, how will the industry respond to this challenge?

Martin Perry

Martin Perry

Director of Development

Martin's biography