5 Key Takeaways from the Retail Destination LIVE

The retail industry has undergone significant changes over the years, and it is critical to stay up to date with the latest trends to succeed. Recently, we attended the Retail Destination Live Conference, the event held a panel of industry experts highlighting the challenges the industry is facing, as well as the latest knowledge, data and technology to overcome these challenges and thrive in an ever-changing world. 

Here are five KEY takeaways from the event that retailers should keep in mind.

Disposable Income: Understanding the Implications of Falling Income on Retail

Alex McCulloch from CACI highlighted that disposable income is expected to fall by 10% in 2023, which is likely to impact retail spaces as consumers will have less money to spend. However, despite goods costing more on average, consumers are spending less in retail spaces post-COVID. We have found that shopping centres can overcome this by promoting value tenant offerings and helping customers to shop smarter, encouraging spend at properties in these difficult times.  



Sustainability Matters: How Consumers are Adapting to the Green Revolution

Sustainability is an increasingly important factor for consumers when making purchasing decisions. The conference emphasized the importance of incorporating sustainable practices into retail operations, with 33% of consumers willing to pay more for a product/service if the brand is aligned with their own values on sustainability. From using eco-friendly packaging to sourcing ethically produced products, there are many ways to make a positive impact on the environment and the modern consumer values sustainability higher than ever before. At Toolbox Marketing, we value our ESG and sustainability highly, we pride ourselves in holding events that give back to the local community and benefit the environment, for example, our Keep Guildford Warm campaign at The Friary that was in partnership with a local charity and focussed on recycling clothing.




Repurposing is Key: Maximizing the Potential of Retail Spaces

Retail spaces must be optimised to achieve their maximum potential, Dr Steve Norris presented the Future of Retail Spaces featuring Lambert Smith Hampton’s Shopping Centre Future Report. The report showcases success stories of shopping centres that have either replaced, reinvented or revitalised, including Castlegate Shopping Centre in Stockton-on-tees which is arguably the UK’s most radical plan to repurpose the shopping centre into a modern waterside development. 



Mixed Use Performing Well: The Benefits of Combining Event Spaces

The conference also focused on the growing trend of mixed-use retail spaces. Combining different event types, such as retail, dining, and leisure creates a dynamic shopping experience that appeals to a wider audience. Lambert Smith Hampton’s Shopping Centre Future highlighted some of the best industry examples, including our client Castle Quarter in Norwich, which has transformed from a retail-led destination to a mixed-use family destination offering retail, leisure and dining options for visitors. The transformation of Castle Quarter now caters for a wider audience within Norwich and surrounding areas, which has led to an increase in visitors with footfall currently +13.1% year to date.*



Geospatial Technology Leads the Way with Retail Data: How Location Data is Revolutionizing Event Planning

Finally, the conference highlighted the power of geospatial technology in shopping centres. Mark King, from Virgin Media O2 Business, stated that by using location data, retailers can gain insights into customer behaviour and optimise their marketing strategies. Geospatial technology can be used to understand how visitors move and behave, as well as segment demographic data to display overlaying profiles to showcase trends from visitors, residents and employees. This technology can help retailers target specific customer groups and personalise the shopping experience and often plays a vital part in our client’s marketing campaigns and strategies.

In conclusion, the Retail Destination Live Conference provided valuable insights into the current state of the retail industry. Shopping Centre’s must stay ahead of the curve by adapting to changing consumer trends, optimising their spaces, and leveraging technology to gain a competitive edge. Our data-driven approach is guaranteed to get people to places, get in touch today to understand how we can help you and your place. 


*Correct as of 13th March 2023

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