Creating retail spaces for businesses to succeed

    Blog, Manchester City Centre

    In the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing the importance of retail and amenity within our great city regions; how great retail and leisure can help to create exciting destinations and vibrant places for visitors and residents alike to enjoy. Experts Toby Sproll and Andrea George from our retail team delved into what makes great retail and leisure amenity, but also how we work with our customers to ensure they are successful and able to try new ideas and ventures.

    But, of course, the location and type of retail space a business is situated in is always going to play a huge part in the success of the business. A business needs to know that the customers on its doorstep will be right for them and that the space can accommodate for all their needs.

    When moving into their first premises in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Takk Owner, Phil Hannaway, spent weeks counting people around the area. “Location is massively important. You have to think about what type of customers your business is going to attract, where they hangout and do as much research as possible,” explains Phil.

    Now well established in the Northern Quarter, Takk are expanding across Manchester, most recently into Hatch with an espresso bar and nanobrewery, and later this year they’ll also be opening a site at University Green. Each of these spaces offer a different look and feel, all while maintaining the Nordic-inspired vibes Takk was formed around, but that appeals to the people within that area. It is the location and space of the retail units that really help bring different elements to life.

    “We are lucky to have a large and diverse portfolio, in terms of location, style and space,” says Toby. This enables Bruntwood to offer its retail customers everything from a small stall in Afflecks on a weekly basis, to thousands of square feet in a multi-occupied office building, and everything in between. “This gives us great opportunity to provide bespoke retail solutions. Our team’s experience and knowledge, allows us to match requirements to opportunities within our portfolio.”

    Bruntwood buildings are home to a diverse range of retailers, hospitality and leisure operators. “This is anything from small, embryonic independent businesses such as Ginger’s Comfort Emporium in Afflecks to large, more established regional or national brands like Pizza Express,” says Toby. “This full healthy and exciting mix gives us a diverse portfolio and offers variety to the buildings within our regions and the communities within them.”

    Retail is a key component for the customers within our buildings and places. “It’s integrated into what we do and how we have a positive impact,” says Toby. “We take a curated and partnership approach to retail, rather than letting a space just to fill it.” This way we know that the retail offering within our buildings and destinations is tailored to the customers around it, and our retail businesses will only benefit from this.

    “Good developers have learnt that you have got to be collaborative and you’ve got to be open to new ideas,” explains Jeremy Roberts, CEO of Living Ventures. “If you help a customer become successful then your building is going to be successful and it’s going to be a happy building.” This is something we believe in strongly at Bruntwood, and understand that we must listen to the wants and needs of a business to ensure they are in the right place for their business to succeed.

    “Our relationship with our retail and leisure customers is a partnership,” says Andrea. “The world of retail doesn’t stand still, so our customers can’t and we can’t. We can provide business support, deal with housekeeping and property maintenance issues and in the case of new businesses, we can assist with business plans. And internal layout designs.”

    The Bruntwood retail portfolio is currently comprises of around 250,000 square foot of space, but over the next two to three years, this is due to double in size. This presents a whole host of opportunities in both our investment and development portfolios. So whether you want a pop up stall at Hatch or a huge unit within Circle Square, there’s sure to be an opportunity to suit you, in a location which is right for your business.

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