With the much-anticipated reopening of shops fast approaching, following the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown, business owners will be preparing to welcome locals back into their stores. And for one street in Poole, the 2021 easing of lockdown will be particularly exciting.
Poole’s Kingland Crescent has been completely revamped as part of Legal & General Investment Management’s (LGIM’s) strategy to re-invent and re-position its retail offering, which includes the adjacent Dolphin Shopping Centre. This new approach re-focuses the value on treating the occupier as a partner, and the end consumer as a Legal & General customer, and sitting local and national brands together. “It’s this notion of moving from historically being a librarian, which is all about collecting rent, filling shops and cleaning our assets, to becoming an editor, making sure we have the right content at the right time and in the right place,” explains Denz Ibrahim, Head of Retail & Futuring, LGIM Real Assets.
In the first phase of the Poole programme, we have offered stripped back, white-boxed retail units in the KINGLAND development to 10 start-up and independent Dorset-based businesses, freeing them of rent and business rates for two years and driving a creative and local focus. “We need to have much more flexible leases to be able to give these creative start-ups the opportunity to get access to these spaces and grow with us, but also give us as the landlord an opportunity to become more agile in how we curate our environments,” explains Ibrahim. “Our town centres have always played a huge role in how people live, work and play – our focus is how we successfully curate spaces that reconnect people with place. The pandemic has simply accelerated this viewpoint.”