When it comes to retail London is quite probably the world leader. The incredible mix of high street brands, luxury, independents and shopping centres is unique, and Shackleton Property is one company helping keep it that way.
It advises retail landlords and occupiers on their retail estate strategy to ensure that every development is different, and the mix of retail fits the intended customers. After all, the right retail in the right place benefits everyone – the shopper, the retailer and the property owner.
Director Tony Moore talks tracking retail trends, the strategies retail should be employing in the future and tailoring retail estates to different demographics:
Could you tell us in a couple of sentences what Shackleton does?
We’re retail property advisors to landlords and occupiers, focusing primarily on central London. We specialise in retail estate strategy, so advising property companies who own London estates or new developments on what retail element they should create, where they should create it and who they should fill it with for sustainability.
Our aim is to make sure that each estate or development is utterly different, so that from the consumer’s point of view they’re going to enjoy the best of London’s retail without seeing too much repetition.
Are there different demographics for different areas of London?
I think the demographics can be extremely subtle. When creating or improving real estate, one of the first things that we look at is the demographic of the area because it’s easier to build off the back of that rather than trying to get a whole new demographic to go to that location.
The key demographics are age range, mix between male and female, and then price spend. Then there’s subtleties and data that might not be out there, but as an expert advisor or even just as a consumer in London, you know the differences and how to tap into that.
Are there any projects that you’re particularly proud of?
It’s ones where we genuinely find that we have made or are making a difference. We’ve been part of the development of Seven Dials over the last 15 years and it’s gone from being a little-known collection of back streets off of Covent Garden to quite an enviable collection of shops and restaurants.
It does have a nice point of difference. It is a premium location, but also it’s chock-a-block full of what we call firsts, so it might be someone’s first shop, but it might also be the first UK store for a big fashion brand from abroad. Or maybe it’s an online brand and it’s their first foray into retailing.
There’s other elements as well like advising on Camden Market. There’s going to be lots of improvements and new development there over the next few years, and we’re very proud of the level of involvement we’re having in that.
If you get Londoners going to a certain location, do you find tourists want to go there too?
Absolutely. It’s very apparent when tourists come to this country, they want to get a London experience. If Londoners are enjoying new areas then tourists will go there too.
It would be very unusual for any new developments of a sizable nature to be built in London that are just targeted at tourists. That would be a fundamentally flawed strategy. The hardest thing in creating new London retail destinations is to make them appeal to a broad range of people if possible, so that they’re successful whilst having a distinct point of difference. That’s the challenge.
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