The importance of retail and amenity
While some may know Bruntwood for office space, our retailers are an equally important element of our business. With over 200 units within our portfolio and over a quarter of a million square foot of space, retail and leisure is an integral part of what we do. We sat down with Toby Sproll, Head of Retail and Amenity, and Andrea George, Head of Retail and Leisure Leasing, to find out more about how great retail and leisure amenities make our spaces and communities great places to be.
From a stall within Afflecks, mobile street food and pop-up opportunities; to joint ventures in our office buildings; all the way through to large units with long leases, our retail offering covers a varied range of properties within our portfolio, catering for businesses of all sizes.
The world of retail doesn’t stand still, with businesses often expanding, venturing into side projects and adding to their own portfolio. “Bruntwood retail customers are able to grow with us. Customers can take a single stall, then move into a unit; turn a short-term lease into a long-term lease; or simply just expand into a bigger unit,” explains Andrea. LEAF at both our 113 Portland Street building in Manchester, and Cotton House in Liverpool is just one example of this, with the business expanding vastly over its lifetime, across different cities and types of venues.
By our creation of interesting destinations, office customers have the amenities they need right on their doorstep to enjoy throughout their working day. “Historically great retail was the only place where community and collaboration was encouraged or the catalyst for it,” says Toby. “We’re now blurring the lines between retail and office space to provide quality services and provision within the building itself. Be that health and wellbeing, food and beverage, or just great coffee, it provides that link to our customers and makes their working day easier and more convenient.”
The inclusion of retail and leisure spaces within buildings doesn’t just impact our immediate customer base. “Fantastic retail and leisure has a huge impact on making our great city regions greater,” says Toby. “They also contribute to the street scene and to the communities within which the building sits.”
From independents to convenience stores; restaurants, bars and coffee shops; or fitness, fashion and accommodation, Bruntwood retail spaces span a wide variety of different offerings. “The retail mix answers a demand issue from the customers within the buildings and the population on site,” says Andrea. These complimentary uses also allow businesses to support one another and create a destination for the whole community.
At Bruntwood, we’re firm believers that attracting the right retail businesses to our buildings helps both our retailers and office customers alike, ., as we help to connect our retailers with a potential customer base from the start. While customers are able to benefit from easy and convenient access to retail that suits them and adds significantly to the vibrancy and amenity of our buildings.