Usually the reserve of large chains, shopping centres are slowly changing in their composition as developers increasingly embrace the idea of diversity in retail.
Apart from injecting much-needed diversity into the town, the indie-in-shopping-centre strategy also benefits the independent retailers, who can negotiate a smaller rental fee than their larger, more established counterparts. Opening in a shopping centre also gives them access to a larger customer base, as well as the benefit of centre security and facilities.
John Grimes, retail leasing director at Princesshay developer Land Securities, says incorporating independent retailers into their shopping centres is part of their development strategy. During the Princesshay development, Grimes’ team of agents scoured the country for the best independent retailers to find a way of getting them into Exeter.
At the opening of Princesshay last month, every one of these indies told me they knew they had made the right decision.
So what do you think? Do indies improve the tenant mix in shopping centres? Are you an indie that has made the leap?