Article | Future Cities

What’s Driving Consumers to London’s Estates?

September 5, 2022 4 Minute Read

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As reported in our 2022 Mid-Year Outlook, retail footfall in the UK has seen steady growth since the start of the year but still remains below pre-pandemic levels, at -9%. London’s Great Estates are some of the city's most attractive and distinctive neighbourhoods and are leading the charge when it comes to enticing back consumers. CBRE’s Property Management experts list four ways London’s Great Estates are positioning themselves above the competition.

1. One landlord, one vision

Most of London’s Estates benefit from having a single Landlord, which gives much greater flexibility and control and often means you can address changing requirements of the asset and surrounding public realm, adapting to what the occupiers need and the customers want. This flexibility also means when units are vacant it’s a much easier process to fill the space with a pop-up or an art display, to avoid any long-term vacant spaces.

One Landlord can also help to create a sense of community, with all stakeholders working together to attract more visitors. Estate-wide events are easier to arrange and are a fantastic way to increase footfall. This single vision also benefits the tenant mix, allowing for a thought-out approach, with brands and operators that complement each other, and the right balance when it comes to their offering. This in turn encourages footfall and spending, allowing occupiers to prosper.

2. Balancing the brands

Estates put a lot of consideration into tailoring their occupiers to feature staple global brands, alongside smaller emerging brands. With a variety of unit sizes, adaptable portfolios, a mix of uses, competitive rental levels and flexible lease lengths, Estates are well geared to be able to support emerging brands or brands that are taking their first step into occupying a physical retail space. It is often these newer brands that draw in the customer, wanting to be the first to experience the store or to see the new products in the flesh as opposed to online.

3. 24-hour customer

Mixed-use Estates combining office and residential occupiers, ensure the retail, food & beverage, and leisure operators also within the Estate, benefit from 24-hour customer demand. As a result, this means need for around-the-clock customer service and security, and this is something the Estates are putting increasing effort into. The Estates are taking it to the next level providing all onsite staff with significant training, creating ambassadors for the Estate to encourage them to engage with all occupiers, residents, and customers to create a unique customer experience.

Estates are also communities, where people live and work with local schools. It makes these areas a lot less reliant on tourism, which we saw hugely beneficial especially throughout the pandemic.

4. Pedestrianisation

We were already seeing an increased pedestrianisation pre the Covid-19 pandemic, but this is a trend that has not slowed down. Car-free streets improve the customer experience, making the area feel safer and physically more attractive. It allows for restaurants to utilise outdoor space, which in turn creates a vibrant atmosphere, a place where consumers want to come. With cars off the streets, this allows for more public benches, and places for local workers to take a break, increasing dwell time in the area and providing further opportunity for pop-up outlets to bring more diversity to the Estate. Investing more into maintenance, improving buildings, and adapting them to consumer needs goes further to turning the Estates into destinations the public wants to visit time and again.

Contact us to find out how our Property Management team could benefit your Estate.

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