Ellandi Blog

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MARK ROBINSON JOINS MISHCON ACADEMY'S DIGITAL SESSION - THE FUTURE OF THE HIGH STREET

MARK ROBINSON JOINS MISHCON ACADEMY'S DIGITAL SESSION - THE FUTURE OF THE HIGH STREET

22nd Oct 2020

As retailers, landlords and communities grapple with the long term impact of high street change, focus is shifting to where the transformation could take us. Mark Robinson joined Mishcon de Reya's expert retail panel as part of their latest Mishcon Academy Digital Session on The Future of the High Street. In this session the panel considered the challenges and opportunities facing our high streets and town centres, the impact of COVID-19, how landlords are adapting and who are the high street tenants of the future.

See the full webinar highlights at the external link below.

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ELLANDI APPOINTED AS ASSET MANAGER FOR INTU MILTON KEYNES

ELLANDI APPOINTED AS ASSET MANAGER FOR INTU MILTON KEYNES

25th Sep 2020

Property group Ellandi has been appointed asset manager for Intu’s Milton Keynes shopping centre.

The transfer of the centre follows retail property giant Intu’s administration in June and Ellandi has appointed Savills as managing agent for Intu Milton Keynes, which will be rebranded.

Milton Keynes is the second of Intu’s malls Ellandi has taken over, following Merry Hill in the West Midlands.

Ellandi partner and co-founder Morgan Garfield said: “For two decades, the centre has been an incredibly important focal point for the city’s people and its economy. ”We’re thrilled at the opportunity to continue its legacy and are committed to improving the existing offer with new operators and complementary uses. The centre will continue to support local shoppers and the wider community.”

KPMG partner and Intu administrator Jim Tucker said: “This is the third Intu centre to migrate to new management in little under two weeks, further underscoring the hard work and commitment from all stakeholders to effect smooth and orderly transitions.”

Intu’s demise reflected tough conditions in retail property. Changes to shopping habits, such as more buying online, put pressure on valuations. The coronavirus outbreak and resulting lockdown, when many stores were closed and many retailers did not pay rent, accelerated problems. Landlords have also been impacted by a wave of retail CVAs resulting in store closures and lower rents.

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MARK ROBINSON SPEAKS AT PLACE NORTH WESTS' FUTURE OF RETAIL + LEISURE CONFERENCE

MARK ROBINSON SPEAKS AT PLACE NORTH WESTS' FUTURE OF RETAIL + LEISURE CONFERENCE

23rd Sep 2020

Ellandi Co-Founder Mark Robinson spoke as a guest on North West's Panel discussing the future of town centres. The Panel discussed the need to accelerate the current trend towards repurposing defunct retail space, as well as the emerging difference between the recovery of local town centres and big cities.

Presenting on the Government’s High Streets Task Force, Mark Robinson said: “The task force is a child of the Timpson Review and the £750m Future High Streets Fund announced in August 2019. The aim is to corral the efforts of talented people with a stake in placemaking. From Ellandi’s work in Ashton-under-Lyne, Bootle, Chester and Middleton, we’ve seen the need for proactive local authorities, [repurposing] retail space, community use and adoption of Big Data.”

Read the full takeaways in the external link below.

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ELLANDI APPOINTED AS ASSET MANAGER FOR INTU MERRY HILL

ELLANDI APPOINTED AS ASSET MANAGER FOR INTU MERRY HILL

17th Sep 2020

Ellandi, the privately-owned operator of shopping centres, has been appointed as asset manager for intu Merry Hill, one of the biggest shopping destinations in the West Midlands.

The company takes over from intu properties plc, which went into administration in June, and will oversee the operation and development of intu Merry Hill on behalf of the consortium of banks that own the centre.

Ellandi, which operates over 30 shopping centres across the UK, has confirmed that intu Merry Hill will continue to receive investment and development to "maintain its place as a leading retail destination in the West Midlands".

That investment includes the current remodeling of the exterior of intu Merry Hill, which is due to complete by spring 2021. A refurbishment of the washroom facilities has just been completed and other improvements will follow over the coming months.

Ellandi has appointed Savills as managing agent with responsibility for the day-to-day running of the centre. The centre will continue to be known as intu Merry Hill for an interim period. It will be rebranded in 2021.

Mark Robinson, property director and co-founder of Ellandi, said: “intu Merry Hill plays a vital role in the West Midlands. It is responsible for thousands of jobs, supports local suppliers and makes a significant contribution to the regional economy. We are excited about the opportunity that intu Merry Hill has to evolve through investment and offer the very best retail and leisure experience to shoppers in the West Midlands and beyond. We are committed, alongside the centre’s owners, to supporting jobs and the local community.”

Rachael Jackson, general manager for Merry Hill, said: “intu Merry Hill has a very bright future and the management team at the centre is looking forward to working with Ellandi. Visitor numbers are getting back to pre-Covid levels and 97% of our retail and leisure partners have reopened, which shows the resilience and importance of Merry Hill in the region.”

Jim Tucker, partner at KPMG and joint administrator of intu properties plc, said: “With the migration of intu’s shopping centres to new management now firmly underway, it’s pleasing to have been able to conclude the smooth transfer of this significant asset within the intu portfolio. As one of the top 10 shopping centres in the UK, Merry Hill is a prominent name on the retail landscape. We wish management and all of the employees the very best as they embark on this new chapter.”

Shopping centre group intu collapsed into administration at the end of June. It owned and operated 17 shopping centres across the UK including intu Trafford Centre, intu Lakeside, intu Merry Hill and intu MetroCentre, in addition to a shopping centre and development site in Spain.

Each of the shopping centres is owned individually by special purpose vehicles or propcos which are outside of any insolvency process and continue to trade as normal under the control of their directors.

The joint administrators have been assessing options for the business and assets of the group.

Savills and Ken Ford, former Executive Director of Capital & Regional, were recently appointed assets managers at intu Derby after Cale Street took on 100% ownership of the mall, which it had owned jointly with intu.

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EMPTY SHOPS ON UK HIGH STREETS AT HIGHEST LEVEL IN SIX YEARS

EMPTY SHOPS ON UK HIGH STREETS AT HIGHEST LEVEL IN SIX YEARS

3rd Sep 2020

Greater London, where number of closed outlets has increased by almost two-thirds, is hardest hit by rise.

The number of empty shops on UK high streets has risen to its highest level in six years as city centres, and especially London, suffer from a dive in visitor numbers. Nearly 11% of shops remained vacant in July compared with 9.8% in January, with the number of empty premises rising in six out of 10 UK regions, according to retail analysis firm Springboard. Greater London suffered by far the worst blow, with empty shops increasing by nearly two-thirds. The rise in shut-up shops comes as the number of visitors to large city centres continues to drop. High streets, including city centres, saw nearly 40% fewer visitors in August compared with the same month last year, according to Springboard.

“The reality of the new normal has already started to bite,” said Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard. “This result brings into sharp focus the difficulties faced by large cities in attracting customers back and the impact of this on our bricks and mortar retail landscape.”She said retail parks had fared better, with visitor numbers down by just over 11% last month, while market and coastal towns had also performed better than cities as they benefited from the staycation trend. The number of visitors to seaside towns dropped by 24% and market towns saw a drop of almost 27% in footfall.Mark Robinson, chair of the High Streets Task Force, said the changes were likely to lead to the rise of multifunctional town centres, with empty shops being given over to other productive uses. “The pandemic has brought forward changes that usually take years to occur; instead of ‘How long is the commute?’, people are asking, ‘Do I live within walking distance of the services I need – like food, green space, healthcare, schools and childcare?’” he said.But retailers, cafes and restaurants are struggling to adapt to a huge shift in behaviour during the pandemic as more people work from home or have been forced to take a long break under the government-backed job protection scheme.

Major chains including Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, John Lewis, Pret a Manger and Pizza Express are all closing outlets and laying off thousands of staff. In contrast, some local high streets and independent stores have traded well as those working from home do their shopping and socialising near where they live.The head of the Confederation of British Industry has warned that city centres could become “ghost towns” if the prime minister does not do more to encourage workers back to the office.Wehrle said: “It is clear that footfall has only been marginally boosted by the government support initiatives, and the Office for National Statistics have reported that non-food spending remains lower than in February 2020. With the news this month of the UK officially going into recession and the impending end to the furlough scheme in two months, which is likely to see unemployment levels rise, it appears that the retail sector is standing at the edge of a trading precipice.”

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PROPERTYSHE PODCAST: MARK ROBINSON TALKS TOWN CENTRE FUTURES

PROPERTYSHE PODCAST: MARK ROBINSON TALKS TOWN CENTRE FUTURES

26th Aug 2020

Mark joins Mishcon de Reya Partner Susan Freeman on the Propertyshe podcast to talk about the importance of data and community in town centre revivals, his role as Chair on the High Streets Task Force Board, and why he's still a firm retail apocalypse denier.

Listen to the full Spotify podcast on the external link below.

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TURNING DATA INTO INSIGHT

TURNING DATA INTO INSIGHT

31st Jul 2020

In Retail Destination's Digital Edition, Ellandi's Insight Analyst Scott Dixon discusses insightful data and the future of retail post-COVID-19.

"In the absence of leasing activity and turnover data, I've been working with the owners of retail assets who want real-time insight on the impact and prospects for their asset."

Click on the document link below to read the full article.

 

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LOOK TO VICTORIANS FOR ANSWER TO RETAIL'S DECLINE

LOOK TO VICTORIANS FOR ANSWER TO RETAIL'S DECLINE

28th Jul 2020

Mark Robinson talks to LGC about the need for planning flexibility to convert redundant retail space, and the opportunity to bring back historic town centre uses for truly mixed-use community places.

“Covid is not a change agent – it’s not making anything happen differently but it’s an accelerator, it’s probably taking us to a position of internet penetration that might have taken 10 years otherwise and that is going to have a significant adverse impact on many of our shopping places.”

 

Read the full article on the external link below.

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UK RETAIL STORES WAIT FOR THEIR OWN COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS

UK RETAIL STORES WAIT FOR THEIR OWN COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS

8th Jul 2020

Ellandi Investment Manager David Cohen discusses the post-COVID-19 road to recovery across the retail property sector.

"New tools are required to evaluate the retail places of today and implement a successful recovery plan for owners, lenders, assets and communities."


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SUSTAINABILITY CREATES THE RESILIENCE OUR RETAIL PLACES NEED

SUSTAINABILITY CREATES THE RESILIENCE OUR RETAIL PLACES NEED

1st Jul 2020

Ruth Moorhouse discusses creating sustainable communities as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery in Retail Destination.

"At Ellandi we see sustainability also encompassing the concept of legacy, that Ellandi can leave a community with a real purpose and resilience that can self-sustain once we have been and gone. This means that a place is financially sustainable for our investors but this will only happen once a place is sustainable for its retailers, occupiers and customers."

 

Read the full article on the external link below.

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CLOSED RETAILERS PRESSURE SHOPPING CENTRES TO SHUT TOO, THREATENING SUPERMARKET STORES

CLOSED RETAILERS PRESSURE SHOPPING CENTRES TO SHUT TOO, THREATENING SUPERMARKET STORES

26th Mar 2020

Retailers forced to close this week are putting pressure on shopping centres do to the same, threatening hundreds of supermarkets and other stores selling essential products.

Shops ordered to close by Prime Minister Boris Johnson are refusing to pay shopping centre service charges, heaping pressure on already beleaguered landlords, it is claimed.

Shopping centre trade body Revo held crisis talks with the government on Wednesday (25 March) over who foots the bill for services such as cleaning and security staff.

There are roughly 300 covered shopping centres across the UK, many home to branches of major supermarkets. According to Revo, only around a third of landlords’ rent income on average comes from retailers permitted to stay open because they sell essentials such as food and medicine.

There is already a general acceptance from landlords that most tenants won’t pay rent for three months, according to Mark Robinson, a former Revo president who remains on the board. “That is being borne out in the data that we’re seeing come through on the rent quarter,” he said. “We’re probably going to end up with about a third of the rent.”

Added pressure is coming from retailers deemed non-essential now asking for centres to close to save on running costs.

“Every shopping centre owner I have spoken to is committed to keeping them to open to keep essential services running,” Robinson said.

“At the same time though we have got pressure from our non-essential tenants saying we want you to shut them now because we don’t want to have to pay any service charges.

“A huge amount of non-essential retailers are requesting rent and service charge concessions.”

Revo is leading efforts to keep shopping centres open in ongoing discussions with the government. The talks are focused on “making sure the owners’ community is supported to be able keep shopping centres open to allow essential retailers to keep serving the public,” according to Robinson.

He said “a number of options” were being “actively considered” by the government.Among the suggestions for helping landlords is a suspension of interest charges by banks.

A source at a leading property company said shopping centres were an issue major supermarkets had been “struggling” with since Johnson’s order on Monday that non-essentials shops should close.

“There will be stores inside centres and the whole centre might be forced to close,” he said. “It might get worked through but it’s an issue they are dealing with.”

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REPURPOSING RETAIL: GOT BIG DATA? SO WHAT?

REPURPOSING RETAIL: GOT BIG DATA? SO WHAT?

30th Jan 2020

All businesses are being told that the collection, examination and interpretation of data is central to ensuring that they undertake more objective strategic decision-making.

That the application of informed analytics to a range of data sets can help reduce the risk of human bias and lead to faster, better decisions being made. And if your humans are flawed, no worries – Al will come to the rescue. Soon.

Amid all this, the real estate industry still upholds its reputation as a domain that largely relies on subjective judgement and fails to put data at the forefront of its practices, so many property businesses are missing a huge opportunity to transform the performance of their assets.

Adopting new approaches to decision-making and changing behaviours throughout the industry is not easy, but we are convinced that over the next few years data will be the differentiator separating winning spaces and places from those that fail.

So at Ellandi we are re-engineering every business decision-making process to put data at the start and heart of everything we do.

Engaging users

Clearly, the challenges in retail sector highlight the importance of leveraging data as a core component of future decision-making. Understanding consumers has always been vital to retail success, and the same theory should be applied to ensuring that a place engages its users, whether it remains largely retail, becomes mixed-use  or is redeveloped entirely.

Central to deciding how to manage, repurpose or redevelop a retail space is the development of a deep understanding of the community it serves. Harnessing an insight into the future users of each individual place and enabling it to provide a continuously engaging visitor experience means really understanding what drives supply, use and future demand from space occupiers.

This has become even more pressing as we can no longer look to past models for “what good looks like” as the change and challenges are of the one-in-a-generation kind.

But as we dive deeper into the digital age – and data sets, technologies and analytics become even more sophisticated – it can sometimes be hard to see the wood from the trees; data for data’s sake does not lead to insight.

We keep our analysis honest and focused with two short words that make up one simple question: so what?

Value Test

Fresh data and innovative technologies can spark interest and intellectual curiosity. However, unless they impact decision making, and actually answer the questions ‘how do we engage our visitors?’, ‘how do we increase our catchment?’ and ‘how can we ensure sustainable occupations?’ they will not be contributing value and purpose.

Only relevant and meaningful data can then be analysed, filtered and refined – and combined with the “human data” provided by the decades of experience embedded in our diverse property team – to provide truly valuable and unique understanding. This approach challenges cognitive bias while ensuring that our data-driven insight leads to viable and sustainable solutions.

Those of us at the forefront of the evolutionary journey of town centre real estate who accept that assets will have to adapt and change with the help of relevant data-driven insights will have the resilience and agility o succeed, whatever the future throws at us.

This approach will ensure that repurposed retail will not only survive today but thrive tomorrow.

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