A brief history of shopping centres / shopping malls
The High Streets of the 19th century developed into what we would term as shopping arcades, which gave shelter from the weather, which in turn developed into shopping centres/shopping malls, although these terms are used differently around the world. Shopping centres or malls are generally located in city centres and large towns.
Later regional shopping centres/malls developed in the form of Meadow Hall Centre in Sheffield, serving Yorkshire, the Trafford Centre serving Manchester and Blue Water serving Kent and the M25 area.
The Bull Ring in Birmingham is said to be the busiest shopping centre in the UK although as time passes this may well be over taken by others.
Shopping is essential for buying food and household items and has become a therapy for others who enjoy visiting their local shops or travelling further afield to shopping centres or specialist shops. Here are some interesting facts regarding shops
First UK shopping centre
Is the first ever shopping centre the Royal Exchange? This is where dealers bought and sold commodities, built in 1571 and reopened in recent years as a shopping mall.
Leading shop founders
Sainsbury’s set up on Dury Lane, London in 1879 in a very basic format by John and Mary Sainsbury.
Marks & Spencer set up by Michael Marks, a Polish refugee in 1884, the first stop being in Leeds.
Co-op (meaning co-operative) set up in Rochdale, Lancashire in 1947.
Tesco founded by Jack Cohen, put paid to the end of recommended retail prices in 1964, allowing supermarkets to start to discount and some would argue this led to the growth of supermarkets.
Brent Cross shopping centre
Brent Cross opened in London in 1976, considered by many to be Britain’s first out of town shopping centre. It also had the concept of anchor stores, which are stores that attract other customers and also other shops. The anchor stores were John Lewis (department store), Fenwicks (department store), Ratners (jewellery) and Our Price (record store).
The Arndale Shopping Centre Concept
The Arndale Shopping Centre was set up by a butcher and estate agent. They were a big players in the early shopping centres, opening first in Jarrow in South Tyneside in 1961, although to give you an idea the type of work that went into some of the shopping centres they purchased Bradford’s Victoria Swan Arcade in 1954 but due to leases needing to expire and planning and building requirements it was not opened until 1962, meaning it was 8 years in the planning!
There was much criticism of the Arndale Shopping Centre schemes as they often involved demolition of traditional High Streets. There were 20 or so of these shopping centres, including 3 in Australia.
Amazon, many would say, caused the change of shopping habits, moving away from high street shopping to internet shopping. Originally set up as an internet book shop in 1995 and now sells almost everything.
The demise of some of the UK’s well known stores
The demise of retail shopping during the recession years of the 2000’s resulted in the loss of many well known shops and stores in their original form, even though some have re-appeared in different forms. These included Woolworths (general store), Clinton Cards (card store), Comets (electrical store) and Borders (book store).
Earliest shopping centre
The earliest shopping centre/mall can be attributed to the Romans in Ancient Rome in Trajan’s Market.
UK’s shopping firsts
Chrisp Street Market, said to be the first pedestrianised shopping area.
First shopping centre is said to be in Birmingham.
Bull Ring Shopping Centre in Birmingham is now said to be the busiest (although as time passes this may or may not change).
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More Shopping Facts and Information
We detail below some helpful retail organisations
|The International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) is a global shopping centre/mall organisation set up in 1957.|
|The British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) was founded in 1983.
The British Council of Shopping Centres are the voice of retail property industry.
The BCSC website states it is the professional body and authoritative voice for UK retail led regeneration for the management and investment in shopping centres. Membership is divided between 44% consultants and professional services, 22% managing agents, 14% developers and owners, 11% retailers, 6% public sector and 4% finance and investment.
|British Independent Retail Association (BIRA)|
|National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA)|
|The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS)|
|The Association of Town and City Management (ATCM)|
|British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC)|
Types of shopping centres
|As defined by The International Council of Shopping Centres|
|Neighbourhood Centres / Malls also known as Convenience Centres / Malls|
|A smaller scale shopping centre/mall serving the local neighbourhood, with a supermarket or similar as an anchor store, commonly in a strip mall format.
Strip Mall Defined
A Strip Mall comprises of shops laid out in a straight line.
Strip Malls are 30,000 to 250,000 square feet, which is 2,800 to 13,900 metres squared.
Primarily aimed at a three mile radius.
|Community Centres / Malls|
|Community Centres / Malls usually feature two anchor stores and are larger than Neighbourhood Centres. They can be a strip format or L or U shape format.
They are 100,000 to 350,000 square feet, or 9,300 to 32,500 metres squared.
Community Centres / Malls serve an area of three to six miles radius.
|Regional Centres / Malls|
|Typically look at a 15 mile radius.
Regional Centres / Malls are 400,000 to 800,000 square feet, or 37,000 or 74,000 square metres gross leasable area, with a minimum of two anchor stores.
They tend to have higher end, higher value goods stores.
|Super Regional Centres / Malls|
|Super Regional Centres / Malls are centres serving an area of 20 miles radius, with over 800,000 square feet or 74,000 metres squared gross leasable area, with 3 or more anchor stores, plus mass merchandisers, such as discount stores, which may have a theme such as a fashion appeal.|
|Fashion Speciality Centres / Malls|
|Fashion Speciality Centres / Malls are aimed at a specific theme or type of customer, such as the Milton Keynes Xscape Centre, which combines a snow dome with a health centre and fashion / snow / surf shops.
These centres are from 80,000 to 250,000 square feet or 7,400 to 23,200 metres squared and 5 to 15 miles radius.
|Power Centres are Out of Town type industrial building or big box retailers in a trading radius of 5 to 10 miles; typically with 2,500 to 6,000 square feet or 23,000 to 56,000 metres squared.|
|Theme Festival Centres / Malls|
|Theme Festival Centres / Malls are a shopping centre/mall that has been designed around a theme, utilising the natural architectural features, such as the Castle Mall Shopping Centre in Norwich, which is situated in and around the castle.
Equally Theme Festival Centres / Malls can be in a tourist destination location, attempting to attract destination customers.
These Centres / Malls are typically 80,000 to 250,000 square feet or 7,400 to 23,200 metres squared.
|Outlet Discount Centres / Malls|
|An Outlet Discount Centre / Mall can be an outlet centre where end of line goods are sold where manufacturers sell directly to the public, such as Bicester Village in Oxfordshire, Ashford Designer Outlet Centre, Kent, The Galleria, Hatfield, Hertfordshire.|
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|The Government set up a forum in March 2013 for helping town centres, the idea being to bring together leaders across retail property and business to better understand the competition of town centres across the country to drive forward new ideas and policies.
There is even a Minister for High Streets, town centres and markets.
|There are many organisations to help promote shops and shopping centres in the UK such as|
|People First promotes Independence Day which is a national campaign that promotes and celebrates independent businesses across the UK.|
|The LoveYourLocalMarket.org website mission is to celebrate market culture. It has campaigns to promote local markets, of which there are approximately 1,000 signed up at the time we viewed the website.|
|Email us if you wish to include a helpful organisation|
The Great British High Street Awards
|Yes, there are awards that recognise progress within the High Street as well as diversity and services. The Great British High Street Awards are divided into six categories:|
City centre shopping
Town centre shopping
Market town shopping
Coastal community shopping
Local shopping centre or parade of shops
|Take a look at the GreatBritishHighStreet.co.uk website where you will find ways of supporting your High Street, downloadable information and much more…|
Stores that are no longer on the High Street
|Sadly some of the High Street stores that were part of English tradition are no longer present on the High Streets of many towns and cities across the well known, long established UK stores such as:-|
|Click on the links to read more about:-|
The Future of Shopping
The BBC interesting article on the future of shopping and talked about High Streets looking like every other High Street. We have heard this called ‘McTown’s’, relating to the McDonalds concept of all their outlets being to a similar style and standard. It refers to the High Streets being full of coffee shops, mobile phone stores, 99p retailers, as well as the usual brands and vacant shops often now being taken up by charity outlets.
It ponders the question that is it is due to the popularity of online shopping?
No doubt soon this information will not seem futuristic but commonplace but for the moment shopping in the future will be quite different.
Video recognition is where the facial expression of a customer as they go in and out of a shop is gauged and Tesco have trialled such an App.
This is where there’s no need to take a wallet or purse as you can pay via smart phone. Also in France it is being trialled using fingerprints.
Stores are always collecting and analysing information via video cameras and sensors. Regent Street in London has installed I-beacons, which use blue tooth technology to beam personal information and suggestions to customers about products.
i-tags or Smart Labels
i-tags or Smart Labels are where labels display information that can be read by your phone, for example the most suitable product for you, i.e. a product that avoids any allergies you have, advising what is within a product, or whether it is out of date, etc.
On demand delivery, also known as Click and Collect
All sorts of stores have been involved in developing on demand delivery; everyone from Tesco, with their delivery service, to Marks & Spencer, to Matalan. John Lewis Plc have a system in place whereby they will deliver items to collect not only from their John Lewis stores but also from their Waitrose stores too.
With competition increasing we have also heard of Amazon looking at plans to use drones and we are advised they have applied for flying licences in the USA.
Digital changing rooms
The digital buying of clothes from an image of yourself in a digital changing room! A company called Magic Mirror is said to have already have developed this concept amongst several others.
Virtual stores are where you touch large screens and find a consumer product that you like and this is then delivered to your home. Tesco have/are trialling this.
Enabling you to print in 3D, which could be the next actual step for printing and photocopying stores.
Computerised assistance can range from touch screen help and advice as to where stores are and how best to get there to in the future robotic assistance, which it is said they are already trialling in South Korea. When purchasing online LiveChat assistance can help with your purchase whereby you can type your question for an online advisor to help which is very helpful both to the customer and company if a customer is experiencing problems whilst adding items to a shopping basket and making payment.
Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker
Some think that the High Street is relatively safe as there will be a move away from constantly being online, with people wanting to be out and about in the real world and being able to touch and feel the products they are buying, as well as walk away with them rather than waiting even the hour that some online retailers are now saying they can deliver products in.
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