Richard Akers – Managing Director, Retail Portfolio
Despite recent turbulence in our market, our strategy has remained clear, consistent and in tune with evolving retail trends.
Intensive research into the retail market has enabled us to identify the way consumers' needs and habits are changing as well as the effect of online shopping on physical retailing. The insights gained are now guiding our strategy.
We expect the long-term trend of retail sales moving to the biggest locations to continue. Our focus on long-term dominant assets reflects consumer preference for the choice provided by big centres.
These structural changes mean medium size towns where there is a low quality offer and poor facilities, are likely to face a more uncertain future. Especially those located near bigger centres.
Shoppers also want more convenience. We see it in the continued rise of supermarkets, out of town retailing and the growth of online. That's why we are working with supermarkets such as Sainsbury, in our Harvest partnership, and other major retailers, such as John Lewis, on continuing to grow and develop our out-of-town, convenience driven offer.
Our plan as ever is to move assets up the retail hierarchy, using our asset management and development skills to maximise performance in an ever changing retail landscape.