Retail Real Estate Experts talk about their life and career on Bayfield Training Blog.
Analyst at Local Data Company
SANDRA: Local Data Company provides weekly news looking at change of retail across the UK. What industry trends have you noticed over the last year?
RONALD: An interesting example is the opening of Tesla car showrooms in several shopping centres across GB (The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Westfield London, Brent Cross and Bluewater), which could be a ploy to target bored male shoppers giving them the chance to test out their latest electric car models and buy into the brand. Car dealerships have traditionally been located on the fringes of urban centres, but by Tesla opening in a retail unit and making the space work for their needs this could encourage more non-traditional companies opening retail shops.
SANDRA: What do shoppers demand from retailers today and is the supply meeting their demand?
RONALD: Shoppers have become more sophisticated, with shoppers doing more research into their buying and searching out discounts or offer more. This has put pressure on retailers to offer discounts and promotions throughout the year, rather than just around the festive period.
SANDRA: In your opinion, what are the next top retailers?
RONALD: Not so much top, but retailers who are growing at a fast rate and could reach +100 stores plus in the next few years would be Tiger, Tapi Carpets & Floors and Pep&Co. In the last 12 months, these retailers have grown significantly across retail parks (Tapi Carpets & Floors), high streets and shopping centres (Tiger and Pep&Co). Tiger, the successful Danish design stores has found a nice spot in the market with their affordable household items that range from candles, toys, gadgets, electronics and various fashion accessories. Its similarity to another loved Scandinavian brand, has seen it likened to a “Ikea without furniture”.
SANDRA: Based on the data that LDC collects, do you think Shopping Centres are taking over high streets?
RONALD: I would not say taking over, but they are becoming more competitive with shopping centres diversifying their mix to add in more F&B and service, which was traditionally based on the high street. With a more diverse mix shopping centres are seeing increased footfall and tenant demand, due to them meeting the needs of several customer journeys.
SANDRA: What do you think are the following steps shopping centres should consider in order to keep up with the changes caused by e-commerce?
RONALD: Shopping centres have been quite successful in adapting to the demands of online shopping. Click and Collect services are opening across several shopping centres, although this will take longer to filter to secondary schemes or schemes owned by less proactive owners.
SANDRA: You have not only presented at, but also attended our Shopping Centre Investment course. What is the most important thing you have learnt about shopping centres in 3 days?
RONALD: I found the course extremely useful. It gave me the chance to sit at the other end of the table and understand what goes through the minds of shopping centre owners/asset managers when they are determining strategy or making key decisions on acquisitions, leasing and disposals. The course also opened my mind about how shopping centres are trying to become more sustainable in terms of their design and energy use.
SANDRA: You have an impressive curriculum and clearly a great interest in data analysis. What other sectors aside of retail are you interested in?
RONALD: As a sports fan, I also have an interest around analytics in sport. Sports analytics is growing in professional sports with the work companies like Opta and books like Moneyball. Similar to retail, data is being used to improve decision making and develop new insights about sports that have been around for centuries. I try to apply my data analysis skills in picking my weekly fantasy football team, which has surprisingly been successful this year, with my team finishing in the top 20,000 across the world out of over 2 million entrant (Top 1%).