Industry news

The intelligence behind Amazon’s ‘4-Star’

This week, @amazon launched its first general store in Soho, New York City. Aptly named ‘4 Star’, the store is stocked solely with Amazon’s 4-star + rated products.

Contrary to the traditional retail model, where inventory is decided by buyers following market research and a fair number of assumptions, 4 Star’s collections are curated based on a rich pool of customer feedback. It’s perhaps the e-commerce heavyweight’s most proficient use of data to date in its strategic push into bricks-and-mortar, allowing shelves to be filled with items that almost guarantee success, while most competitors continue to be burdened by inventory carrying costs.

The customer experience factor at play here is equally impressive. Any consumer technology company worth its salt innovates with a single overarching question in mind: “how can we make our customers’ lives easier?” Amazon’s consumer behavior insight is second-to-none, in this case recognizing customers’ habit of checking prices and ratings online before purchasing. 4 Star seamlessly relieves this urge and all of the inconveniences it may cause, such as the excruciating requirements for tapping into a store’s wifi.

Amazon’s marrying of the physical and digital realms of retail experience continues to excite and delight us at Innesco, and we’ll be keeping our eye on ripples caused in the wider retail industry. Indeed, Amazon’s ‘4 Star’ is much more than a one-stop shop for well-liked goods;  it’s the latest in a rapid stream of reminders that Amazon is the biggest disruptor in contemporary retail.


Landsec celebrates five years of Trinity Leeds, a scheme which revitalized Leeds city centre and redefined retail experiences in the 21st century

Landsec’s Trinity Leeds turned five years old on 21st March. Following Landsec’s decision to regenerate two 1970s shopping arcades in Leeds city centre, Trinity opened in 2013 and has since set the benchmark for shopping centres in the 21st century. Having established a reputation as a launching pad for new retail innovations and leisure concepts, Trinity is now widely regarded as a natural destination of choice for international and domestic brands, outside of London.

Key firsts introduced by Landsec at Trinity Leeds include:

  • Trinity Kitchen – a world first street food dining concept, which curates the very best culinary experiences from leading established and emerging restaurateurs. Trinity Kitchen consists of eight permanent restaurants supported by a rolling cast of five leading street food pop-ups.  Currently Trinity Kitchen offers Indian street food from Pavs Dhaba, Malaysian cuisine from Dapur Malaysia, and a premium burger offering from Wagyu Lookin’ at?, a British street food awards’ finalist for the past three years.
  • International restaurant group D&D launched its first two restaurant concepts outside of London at Trinity Leeds – Angelica and Crafthouse.
  • Leading operators, such as jewellery and accessories retailer Lovisa and premium cinema brand, Everyman Cinemas, chose Trinity Leeds as their first locations in the north of England.
  • Unique events brought forward by Trinity Leeds, include Wonder Weekend (an annual two-day spectacle which welcomes over 60 different experiences to the centre and provides one-time-only offers for visitors) and the UK’s biggest Gin and Vodka Festival. Hosted in Trinity Kitchen, the festival saw Trinity become the first UK shopping centre to launch its own brand of gin – ‘Ginity Leeds’.

Trinity Leeds continues to play an incredibly important role in the economic success of Leeds. Recent research by Landsec estimates that Trinity Leeds supports over 5,400 jobs and generates nearly £150m in economic output each year.

Key facts about Trinity Leeds include:

  • At 788, 900 sq ft, Trinity Leeds is the size of 13 football pitches.
  • 1,902 panes make up Trinity’s glass roof which is lit by more than 940 LEDS lights that can be controlled individually to create different moods and ambiences. The centre’s famous glass dome has the strength to support 10 elephants.
  • 68 new brands (both UK and international) have come to Trinity Leeds since it opened.

Rob Jewell, Portfolio Director, Landsec said: “Trinity has had an incredible impact, both as an engine for local economic success and as a pace setter for innovation and evolution in the retail and leisure sector. We continue to work in collaboration with our brands to deliver the best in class experience for our customers and engage with shoppers to ensure their feedback drives continuous improvement. We’re very proud of the many thousands of jobs Trinity supports and the huge role it plays in boosting Leeds’ reputation as a city that is recognized globally as a fantastic place to live, work and visit. What’s more exciting is that we are by no means finished. We’re progressing a number of innovative initiatives at Trinity right now which will ensure that this magnificent scheme continues to set new records for many years to come.”

Hilary Benn, MP Leeds Central said: “Trinity has been a great addition to Leeds city centre. It set a new standard for design and is very popular with shoppers.”


London’s West End bounces back on Black Friday to outperform the national average as shoppers return to Oxford Street

  • Footfall in London’s West End was up 1% YOY on Saturday 25 November and Sunday 26 November following Black Friday
  • Best Black Friday on record up to 4pm, with footfall up 4.5% YOY
  • The West End outperformed the UK high street average

The West End of London, which encompasses world famous shopping streets like Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, had a welcome boost over the Black Friday weekend with a 1% increase in shoppers on 2016 figures. Visitors returned in their droves despite false reports of an incident at Oxford Circus tube station on Friday afternoon.

Before police reports on Friday evening, footfall throughout the West End was up 4.5% on the same time last year, indicating that the international shopping district was heading for a record-breaking Black Friday weekend. Shoppers looking to make the most of the West End’s shops, restaurants and Christmas lights kept coming across the weekend, with several department stores reporting their busiest Saturdays this year.

The numbers point to the continued resilience of the West End in what has been a challenging trading year, with the London district outperforming the rest of the UK’s high streets on both Saturday and Sunday. Across the country, the number of visitors to other UK high streets was down 2.5%. The 1% increase is also particularly encouraging given it was reported that footfall was down 12% at the end of Friday, further reinforcing the attraction of London’s West End for shoppers looking to kick-start their Christmas shopping.

Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive at New West End Company, which represents 600 businesses in London’s West End, including Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, said:

“It was a relief that the activity at Oxford Circus on Friday was a false alarm with no serious injuries. Whilst it did impact numbers on Friday evening, the resilience of the West End has really shone through as footfall was recorded at over one million during the weekend. Our shoppers, both domestic and international, continue to enjoy the fantastic experience the West End has to offer as one of the world’s leading retail and leisure destinations.”

New West End Company is responding to the learnings of Friday evening and exploring ways in which the district can respond to such events in the future.

Tyrrell continued: “Keeping visitors safe is our upmost priority and the events of Friday afternoon demonstrate how quickly and efficiently the police respond to protect the public and staff.

“In the age of social media, information travels incredibly quickly and not always accurately, so we should explore alternative ways of communicating with the public during such incidents. We can look to other international cities for inspiration such as Tokyo, which uses a tannoy system to communicate with the public. We are in conversations with the Borough Commander and Deputy Mayor for Policing to review our planning, systems and responses to ensure lessons are learnt.”

Black Friday is an informal shopping day which sees retailers mark the start of the Christmas shopping season in the UK with special offers and deals.

Retailers in London’s West End continue to expect a strong Christmas period, with till receipts in the six weeks running up to Christmas forecast to rise by 1.5% to £2.61 billion.


Curtain rises for new Cineworld Leeds at White Rose, marking the completion of Landsec’s ‘the Village’ leisure extension

On Friday 17 November, Cineworld opened a new 11-screen multiplex cinema with IMAX at Landsec’s White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds.

The opening of the cinema represents the completion of Landsec’s 65,000 sq ft leisure extension at White Rose, named ‘the Village’. Alongside the new cinema, the Village included the provision of six new restaurants, now let to Five Guys, Limeyard, Chiquito, Wagamama, TGI Fridays and Pizza Hut, and investment in rejuvenated public spaces to create a vibrant new place for people to visit and enjoy.

The opening of Cineworld Leeds at White Rose was marked with an exclusive gala event and special screening of Justice League in the new IMAX screen on Thursday 16 November, attended by VIP guests including the Mayor of Morley, Cllr Robert Finnigan and Emma and Dixie from Heart FM.

The Cineworld at White Rose represents the very latest modern cinema experience, incorporating 11 screens, including an IMAX theatre, a Baskin Robbins ice cream counter and a Starbucks. It also represents thoughtful architectural design, which incorporates external walls covered in LED lights that can change colour to provide a constantly new, exciting environment for moviegoers.

Rob Jewell, Portfolio Director, Retail, Landsec, said: “We’re delighted that Cineworld has now opened at White Rose ahead of Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season. Cineworld will provide a fantastic new experience for visitors to the shopping centre, complementing the transformed dining offer we’ve provided through our investment in the Village and the broad range of shops that people can already come and enjoy at White Rose.”

Justin Skinner, SVP Marketing at Cineworld Cinemas, comments: “We’re thrilled to be opening our new cinema at White Rose and to be bringing our latest state-of-the-art cinema experience to Leeds with a cutting-edge IMAX screen. Landsec’s investment in the Village at White Rose has created a really engaging, attractive new destination at the shopping centre; one which is perfect for people to shop, eat and enjoy a film. We’re looking forward to welcoming the people of Leeds through our doors to enjoy the very best movie-going experience.”

The Village is not the only new project happening at White Rose but, rather, is part of a complete programme of improvements currently underway. Wayfinding and signage has been improved and a dedicated staff car park for the 3,500 on-site employees has been created, alongside the installation of electric car charging points for customers. The impact on the environment has also been considered at White Rose, with 2,902 PV solar panels recently installed on the roof, the largest installation on a shopping centre in the UK.


Landsec’s Trinity Leeds delivers experiential extravaganza to shoppers to kick start Christmas season


Over the weekend Landsec’s Trinity Leeds asserted its position as one of the UK’s leading shopping centres for customer experience with a two-day spectacle, incorporating live entertainment and inventive activities for shoppers.

The ‘Wonder Weekend’ event on 4 and 5 November kicked-off the Christmas season in style by hosting over 60 experiences, enjoyed by shoppers and visitors from across Yorkshire. Around 30 retailers participated, granting a range of discounts and offers to guests.

The first day of this year’s festive extravaganza at Trinity Leeds culminated in the switch-on of the Christmas lights, including a show-stopping performance by contortionists and aerial acrobats from Cirque Bijou. Other experiences included stilt-walking, soulful choirs, a range of seasonal workshops, champagne pong and a ball pool bar.

Customers lined up for a chance to try quirky treats from unique pop-up retailers such as Candy Mechanics, who offered the chance to create edible chocolate selfies. Trinity Leeds also welcomed back personal training company Vlique, who injected energy into the weekend with a pop-up fitness experience hosted by influencers and music from a live DJ

Rob Jewell, Portfolio Director, Landsec said: “Wonder Weekend is a fantastic example of how we’re successfully delivering unique, engaging experiences across our portfolio which benefit both guests and retailers.”

Having only recently opened at Trinity Leeds, some retailers, such as Côte Brasserie, experienced the buzz of Wonder Weekend for the first time this year.

Amy McKarry, Area Manager, Côte Brasserie said: “Wonder Weekend was an amazing spectacle. Trinity Leeds was at its busiest we’ve seen since our arrival to the centre and as a result we welcomed an increased number of guests over the weekend. It’s a fantastic concept from Landsec and it makes a huge difference in terms of creating a successful retail environment when landlords invest in events like this.”

Trinity Leeds’ position as the North East’s premier shopping and leisure destination is grounded in its tribalizing approach to providing unique experiences to compliment the fantastic range of shops and restaurants on offer. Wonder Weekend is the latest example of this approach, building on the success of other experiential initiatives such as Trinity Kitchen, a revolutionary food and beverage destination which roatates several of the best, new restaurant concepts in the UK every few weeks.


Hermes secures Yankee Candle and Cath Kidston at Royal Victoria Place

Hermes Investment Management, the £30.1 billion manager, has signed Yankee Candle and Cath Kidston to its Royal Victoria Place shopping centre (RVP) in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. These new lettings further strengthen the retail line up at the 300,000 sq ft RVP – reinforcing its position as the prime retail location in West Kent.

Yankee Candle, an American retailer which sells scented candles and gifts in nearly 50 countries around the world will occupy 1,014 sq ft at its new store at RVP. The brand will appeal to RVP’s affluent customer base by trading its full range of fragranced pieces.

Hermes has also signed a deal with Cath Kidston, a British lifestyle brand with unique, colourful and witty prints founded in 1993 in West London. Cath Kidston is taking a 1,002 sq ft store in a prime location near the entrance to the mall.

RVP boasts an enviable retail offer, anchored by Fenwick and M&S. The wider retail line-up includes Hobbs, French Connection, L’Occitane en Provence and Oliver Bonas.

Christina Holland, Asset Manager at Hermes Investment Management said: “Cath Kidston and Yankee Candle are excellent additions to our diverse line up at Royal Victoria Place. Both are highly popular brands and offer unique product ranges to the centre’s loyal customer base.”

Sarah Senior, Head of Retail Development at Yankee Candle said: “We are really pleased to open the new Yankee Candle store in Tunbridge Wells. This new store will significantly strengthen our presence at Royal Victoria Place, we are sure that it will offer our shoppers a great in-store experience and an excellent range of new and exciting products.”

Sue Carvell, Commercial Director at Cath Kidston said: “We’re really excited to open our new store at West Kent’s largest shopping centre. Our quintessential British lifestyle brand fits in perfectly with the excellent mix of retailers already at Royal Victoria Place.”

Both CBRE and Colliers International advised Hermes.




Grosvenor Europe signs i-ShopMall, the world’s first physical e-commerce showroom retailer to Skärholmen Centrum

Stockholm 07 September 2017: Grosvenor Europe (Grosvenor), one of four operating companies of the privately-owned international property group, Grosvenor Group, has signed e-commerce showroom brand i-ShopMall to Skärholmen Centrum, Southern Stockholm’s largest shopping centre.

The store, set to open in November, will be the first in the world to offer customers the option to physically sample and purchase products from leading online retailers.

At Skärholmen Centrum, the new 29,000 sq ft (2,700 sq m) i-ShopMall will be completely electronic, with SMS or QR-Code required to access each e-tailer’s showrooms. For assistance, customers could contact the customer service team via video call. i-Shop Piccolos, the retailers staff, will also be available.

Since acquiring Skärholmen Centrum in 2015, Grosvenor has been working to strengthen the retail offer within the centre, introducing international and forward-thinking brands. This plays an integral part in the implementation of its ‘Living cities’ philosophy, which guides Grosvenor to implement activity that provides economic, social and environmental benefit to ensure enduring success.

Carl Strufve, Director, Nordics at Grosvenor Europe commented: “i-ShopMall provides an innovative glimpse into the future, where e-commerce and the physical store grow in tandem. It is omni-channel trading at its best.

“This concept fits well with our vision for Skärholmen Centrum, where we are working to strengthen the offer, creating a new urban centre for Southern Stockholm.”

Richard Granberg, Business Manager at i-ShopMall added: “Through i-ShopMall, a much needed new and highly cost-effective and flexible physical channel is created. It is tailored for the new consumer buying pattern and the e-commerce business model, which is missing today.  By gathering large, medium and small e-retailers, you get economies of scale and opportunities for creating new services and collaborations.”

i-ShopMall is developed by investment company Gabrielsson Invest AB.


White Rose celebrates Build-A-Bear’s 20th Anniversary with refreshed concept store

Landsec recently unveiled its new, remodelled Build-A-Bear Workshop store at White Rose, in Leeds, with a refreshed brand, layout and colour palette. The new and improved 2,143 sq ft store, marking the celebration of Build-A-Bear’s 20th Anniversary year, features an updated storefront, with the brand’s distinctive teddy bear silhouette. White Rose celebrated its own 20th Anniversary in March 2017.

The characteristic customer engagement element of Build-A-Bear Workshop complements the vibrant retail and leisure offering at White Rose, anchored by a new 65,000 sq ft leisure extension which opened in July. White Rose will heighten the customer experience of the new store by hosting a ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ on 16 September, which is testament to the relationship the centre maintains with its customers through innovative events.

The first Build-A-Bear Workshop store opened in 1997 in the USA. Today there are over 400 stores worldwide and over 125 million bears have been sold around the globe. Build-A-Bear Workshop offers an interactive destination where customers can create their own personalised furry friends by adding stuffing, sounds, scents and a ‘heart’.

Landsec is committed to improving the existing retail and leisure spaces in its industry leading portfolio by updating and refreshing them to maximise the potential of its occupiers. White Rose is a prime location for store upgrades, demonstrated by similar projects undertaken by Next and Superdry earlier this year.

Next opened its new White Rose store in June, which is almost double the size of its previous unit, re-designed and expanded over two floors and introduces customers to its children and homeware collections for the first time. Superdry chose White Rose as one of only three destinations in which to launch a new store concept that focuses on its successful leisure-wear collections.

Rob Jewell, Portfolio Director, Landsec, said: “There has been a real surge of retailers at the centre either upsizing or refreshing their stores, which demonstrates their confidence in Landsec and White Rose. The mix of stores within the centre appeal to all generations and we look forward to our younger customers enjoying the new Build-A-Bear Workshop store.”

Notes to editors:

  • White Rose features over 120 retailers, 30 eateries, free parking spaces and a bus station
  • On 4th July, White Rose launched its fully-let leisure-led extension featuring six new restaurants– Five Guys, Limeyard, Chiquito, Wagamama, TGI Fridays and Pizza Hut – with an 11-screen state-of-the-art IMAX Cineworld multiplex, an outdoor event space and a bespoke play area opening later this year.
  • The leisure extension follows the 20,000 sq ft, £7 million dining destination (named ‘The Balcony’) that was installed in 2014
  • New retailers include Whittakers, Pizza Express, Tessuti, Fuel and Smiggle
  • White Rose is anchored by Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Next and Primark
  • Other retailers include River Island, Zara, Superdry, Lush Cosmetics, H&M, Boux Avenue and Disney
  • As the largest city after London and Birmingham, Leeds’ resident catchment is over 5.6m




Grosvenor Europe signs series of new international and local brands to Skärholmen Centrum

Stockholm August 29 2017: Grosvenor Europe (Grosvenor), one of four operating companies of the privately-owned international property group, Grosvenor Group, has unveiled a series of key fashion and food deals at the 1,055,000 sq ft (98,000 sqm) Skärholmen Centrum, Southern Stockholm’s largest shopping centre.

Over the last 12 months, 75 leasing deals have been signed. The new deals include the international fashion brand G-star (2,250 sq ft, 209 sqm), fashion multi-brand retailer Johnells (10,171 sq ft, 945 sqm), and supermarket chain Netto (12,000 sq ft, 1116 sqm). Food brands Zocalo and Le Croissant have also opened new restaurants of 2,516 sq ft (234 sqm) and (2,346 sq ft, 218 sqm) respectively. See editors notes for full list of new deals.

Since acquiring Skärholmen Centrum in 2015, Grosvenor Europe has actively worked to strengthen the shopping and leisure elements within the centre. There is a clear strategy to upgrade the layout and tenant mix with new international brands and a broader fashion and food offering. The goal is to recreate the feeling of a thriving urban town, reflecting the asset’s heritage as a town centre, and to offer an even more vibrant meeting place for people living in and visiting Skärholmen.

The dining offer is set to increase from five per cent to ten per cent of the total centre and will stretch across 48,436 sq ft (4,500 sqm) of retail space. A new food cluster has been developed and this will be linked to the remainder of the mall forming part of a new retail passage of 32,292 sq ft (3,000 sqm) set to launch in November 2017.

The fashion offering is also being transformed affecting 452,084 sq ft (42,000 sqm) of the centre in total, where new brands with double height shop fronts are being introduced. To date, 17,222 sq ft (1,600 sqm) of common area has been converted into lettable space.

Grosvenor Europe’s ‘Living cities’ philosophy has played an integral part in the development of Skärholmen Centrum. ‘Living cities’ guides Grosvenor to implement activity which will ensure the enduring success of the places in which it is active, providing benefits which are economic, social and environmental.

Carl Strufve, Director, Nordics, Grosvenor Europe commented: “We see stable growth in Skärhomen centrum and continue according to plan to invest and sharpen the shopping experience in the centre. The vision is to create a new urban centre for Southern Stockholm and these new deals take us further along that path. We are progressing well, and look forward to building upon our strong position in Stockholm.”

Carl Westgren, CFO of Global Retail, operator of G-Star in Sweden commented: “We’re delighted to have launched our store at Skärholmen Centrum, and have witnessed an incredible response from our customers thus far both in terms of footfall and positive feedback. Grosvenor Europe has a clear vision for the future of the centre, and we are thrilled to be a part of a strategy that puts the visitor first, and makes positive changes to reflect the good of the community.”




For further information please contact Innesco:

Stephen Collins

T:  +44 (0) 20 7409 34 34 | M: +44 (0) 7837 871 202

Charlotte Fougeres

T: +44 (0) 20 7409 3434 M: +44 (0) 7854 155 514

Editors notes:

About Skärholmen Centrum

Skärholmen currently comprises of over 175 retailers, with anchor tenants including an ICA Grocery store, Systembolaget, H&M and Åhléns, alongside a restaurant and leisure offering. Skärholmen has always been much more than a shopping centre. With a library, a theatre, medical centres, offices and a school, it has been the centre of the community.

Recent statistics have shown that the centre has a catchment population of 622,000 people which is expected to grow by around 18% by 2025, with 28% having access to high disposable income, compared to the national average at 25%. Grosvenor Europe have responded to the needs of the catchment with the curation of the offering which is anticipated for completion in 2018/2019. (Source: HUI, Ekonomifakta).


Barcelona’s Mamarosa makes UK debut at Shoreditch Village

Shoreditch Village has announced the signing of Mamarosa, expanding the restaurant from its pioneering location beneath the prestigious 5-star W hotel in Barcelona and debuting it in the UK. The new two-storey 1,950 sq ft Italian and Mediterranean fusion restaurant will be positioned adjacent to the citizenM boutique hotel and is due for completion in 2018. The restaurant is a favourite among celebrities such as Lewis Hamilton, Eva Mendes, Hugh Grant, and Shakira.

Mamarosa Shoreditch is the second restaurant of its brand name to be delivered by Dotel Clear Group and follows the success of Mamarosa Beach, which was established in 2011. The new restaurant will serve signature dishes such as tuna tartar with avocado cream and passion fruit, milanesa of chicken with arugula, and black angus loin, alongside a selection of pizzas, fine wines, cocktails and live music. Mamarosa will shortly be looking to appoint a Head Chef for the London venture, with the recruitment and training being overseen by the current Executive Chef of the Beach venue.

Dominic White, Managing Director of Shoreditch Village commented: “We are delighted that Mamarosa has chosen our site as the destination from which to grow their brand and legacy out of Spain. The new restaurant will add to the vibrancy of our public space as we work to connect to the surrounding streets and curate a thoughtful tenant mix made up of expanding and independent businesses.”

Dotel Clear Group was established in 2010 by Francesco Labriola and two of his long-term friends. Their shared passion for international food and culinary hotspots led them to devise the concept for the Mamarosa restaurant.

Francesco Labriola, Owner of Mamarosa commented:Mamarosa Beach has been an incredible success, and we are very much looking forward to replicating this with our Shoreditch restaurant.  Our long-term development plan is to expand in locations with real character, and Shoreditch Village appealed to us as a visionary project within London’s creative hub.”

Craig Fisher, Founder and Managing Director of CF Commercial, commented: “Having established itself as one of Barcelona’s premier dining experiences, to have Mamarosa opening its second branch in Shoreditch Village is incredibly exciting. Having a top-tier restaurant alongside independent businesses, a pop-up market and new public realm will see Shoreditch Village emerge as a leading destination within one of London’s coolest neighbourhoods.”

Shoreditch Village is a 150,000 sq ft mixed-use and public realm scheme situated in the heart of London’s E1, and bordered by Holywell Lane, King John Court, and New Inn Yard. Its offer consists of a 216 bedroom citizenM hotel, eight luxury apartments, and three retail units alongside the new restaurant building.

The site was historically a Victorian timber yard, and is currently owned by Dominic White and Andrew Hall, who’s families purchased the land in the 1970s as a storage facility for their fit-out business.

Phase 2 of the development was sold to Brockton Capital in 2016, which once complete, is expected to provide around 50,000 sq ft of warehouse-style office space, 20,000 sq ft of flexible retail space, and a street market, all surrounded by an open and inviting, south-facing public realm. Development of this phase will commence in 2018, with completion scheduled for 2020.

Shoreditch Village is located just a short walk to Shoreditch High Street (Zone 1: Overground) and Liverpool Street (Zone 1: Hammersmith & City, Circle, Metropolitan, and Central lines) stations.

CF Commercial acted on behalf of Shoreditch Village on the Mamarosa letting.