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Hermes switches to monthly rents

Hermes Real Estate has become the first major landlord to break ranks and offer to renegotiate existing leases to allow tenants to pay rents monthly in advance.

Plans lodged for Ipswich scheme

Turnstone Estates and RevCap have submitted a detailed planning application to Ipswich Borough Council, for a £50m retail-led scheme on the site of the former Civic Centre in Ipswich.

Arcadia signs five to Wrexham

Arcadia brands Topshop, Topman, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Burton are the latest big name retailers to sign up to Eagles Meadow, Wilson Bowden Developments' new £100m shopping and leisure destination in Wrexham which will open at the end of October. The project is now 85 per cent let.

McArthurGlen ups its stake in Europe

McArthurGlen Group has stepped up its European expansion with the opening of its fourth Italian scheme and the launch of a new project in Berlin. In a recession-busting move the company plans to add a further 300,000 sq m of GLA to its European portfolio, which currently stands at 400,000 sq m, by the end of 2012.

The Birmingham Fort launches food court

The Fort Shopping Park in Birmingham has just completed a £2.4m project to create a new food court.

Bank crisis leads to board reshuffles

The global banking crisis has forced British Land and Land Securities into boardroom reshuffles.

Gap to anchor Springfield

Chester Properties, on behalf of UBS Triton Property Fund, has secured Gap Outlet to anchor the £11m extension to its Springfields Outlet Centre in Spalding. The US fashion brand has taken a 10-year lease on a 6,500 sq ft store at the centre which will total 155,000 sq ft when fully open.

Invista lodges Staines plans

A joint venture between Invista's Clerical Medical fund and Spelthorne Borough Council has submitted a planning application for the latest phase of re-development of the Elmsleigh shopping centre in Staines town centre.

Dine in style

When Westfield London opens on October 30 it will feature around 50 different eating and drinking operators compared with approximately 270 retailers, highlighting a strong emphasis on the leisure component of its new London facility.

Designs for life

This Autumn's spate of shopping centre openings has continued unabated with the completion of Cabot Circus and Liverpool One, between them adding almost two million sq ft to the stock of shopping centre floorspace.

viewpoint

It's difficult to know where to turn for some good news at the moment, but the opening of Cabot Circus in Bristol at the end of last month was a rare bright spot.

obituary

Airvent Systems Services Limited is sad to announce the recent death of Henri Fraser after a brave 18-month battle with cancer. Henri held the position of sales and marketing director within Airvent and he was highly respected for his knowledge, expertise and experience of smoke control systems.

issues

The Fat Controller looked down the tracks and wondered what had happened. Then he heard over the radio the tragic news that the Gravy Train had crashed at high speed. The forthcoming months would find the casualties scattered down the sidings.

The price is right

With consumers increasingly leaning towards the value end of retail during the current economic downturn, Scandinavian value furniture and homewares retailer Jysk has taken the bull by the horns and entered the UK market for the first time.

Into the abyss

October 2008 will go down in history as one of the most tumultuous periods in economic history, ranking alongside the Wall Street Crash of October 1929 and the 1973 oil crisis. With banks collapsing, retailers shutting up shop and consumer confidence plummeting, it's time to try and make sense of it all and ask what it really means for shopping centres.

Grand design

The property industry could not have chosen a less auspicious time to deliver the biggest surge in shopping centre openings the UK has ever seen. At a time when the financial services industry is in meltdown and the wider economy is on the brink of recession, three schemes of more than a million sq ft are opening, along with a host of smaller schemes.

City reborn

This year the BCSC marks its 25th year of representing the retail property industry and its Conference & Showcase in November will continue the celebrations at ACC Liverpool - the city's new conference and concert venue.

Digital advertising is a sign of the times

Digital signage networks are a common sight in many of the UK's shopping centres, with advertising being a successful outlet for the generation of non-rental income. While many brands are cutting back on their advertising spend, it seems digital signage is still an area being explored during these tough times.

Fashion focussed promotions drive footfall

Fashion is a vital part of a shopping centre retail mix, with a large number of consumers focused on buying clothes, shoes and accessories. It therefore makes sense that mall events focus on the theme of fashion, and an increasing number of shopping centres are realising that fashion shows can not only attract footfall and increase dwell time and spend, but also assist in generating additional income.

Coin operated enterainment makes the most of customers' loose change

Coin operated machines are an ideal way for shopping centres to generate extra revenue without using up too much space in the mall, and with a variety of new products now on the market, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Going strong

For the majority of shopping centres and retailers in the UK, the credit crunch has meant a fall in sales and footfall over the past year and has led to a greater number of voids in the mall. Guaranteed rental income from tenants is therefore falling as fewer units are occupied and rents remain static, so shopping centres are being forced to look at other avenues to generate revenue.

Moving on up

There aren't many shopping centres that are bucking the national trend at the moment by reporting an increase in footfall, but the Kingfisher Centre in Redditch is one of them. In fact, unlike most centres in the country, the mall claims the credit crunch has helped to boost its custom.

SCEPTRE winner

Capital Shopping Centres managing director Kay Chaldecott presented the SCEPTRE Lifetime Achievement Award to Chapman Taylor's praiseworthy Nigel Woolner.

moves

WORKMAN RETAIL has appointed MELANIE BRUNSDON as marketing and administration assistant at The Market Centre, Crewe.

Gok launches the dock

Hundreds of shoppers gathered at Clarence Dock in Leeds on Saturday, October 11, when stylist Gok Wan took to the catwalk and presented a series of fashion shows to mark the launch of the £260m mixed-use regeneration scheme.

Creative minds think alike

Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design will be working with LDJ Design & Display on a range of projects over the next three years aimed at improving the experience and look of Christmas within shopping centres.

If the shoe fits, wear it

Manchester's Triangle shopping centre saw its footfall figures go sky high during a two-week promotion that gave shoppers the chance to win a trip to the Big Apple.

HRH opens Liverpool One

HRH The Princess Royal gave her royal seal of approval to Grosvenor's £1bn regeneration project Liverpool One on October 1 when she launched the second phase of the now fully-open retail and leisure development in the heart of the city.

Food feedback

For years Bristol city centre has languished behind other cities in the UK, but with the opening of Cabot Circus, The Bristol Alliance has, at a stroke, created a vibrant and compelling retail and foodservice heart to the city.