Integrating interests: consumers-retailers-investors

Jackson, C. and Orr, A. (2015) Integrating interests: consumers-retailers-investors. European Real Estate Society Conference, Istanbul, 24-27 Jun 2015. (Unpublished)

122468.pdf - Accepted Version



The retail sector underpins many local and national economies, yet is experiencing a prolonged period of change and uncertainty. Securing successful large-scale retail-led developments within town and city centres can be key to economic success and stability, yet is a challenging and complex process. This is exacerbated during times of change, with the decision-making environment faced by investors undergoing dynamic transformation driven by changing consumer behaviour, retailer rationalisation and concerns over the accessibility of these traditional public places. The role of the city centre is being challenged and the aspirations of multiple user groups and stakeholders need to be revisited to seek to ensure the future-proofing of the next generation of retail developments. The role of the city centre faces challenges from the evolving behaviour and objectives of consumers and retailers and, in turn, each group comprises diversity. Consumers, for example, include user groups such as leisure users, workers, drinkers, diners, tourists, arts and culture users, the third sector, socialisers, service users, residents and, of course, shoppers (within both comparison and convenience sectors). Within each of these categories, behaviour has changed due to shifts in working hours, commuting patterns, utility of central public spaces, disposable income and, importantly, multi-channel internet shopping. Similarly, the characteristics and objectives of retailers have changed, with expansion in store numbers, store sizes and, more recently, retraction in representation with consequent changing requirements for space. It is within this diverse and complex context that the role of the city centre is explored. A model is developed that provides a comprehensive yet accessible representation of the diversity of user groups and stakeholders, their relationships, aspirations and the environment within which they operate. At its core it shows investors and depicts the challenges they face in terms of situating risk within the opportunities represented by the catchment of users (both occupiers and consumers) and satisficing the diverse aspirations of the catchment. It is argued that such a model can progress our understanding of the role of the city centre and, thus, may be an important input into investor decision-making by contextualising user group and stakeholder relationships, aspirations and pressures, enabling alignment of retail developments and urban regeneration goals.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Orr, Dr Allison
Authors: Jackson, C., and Orr, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
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