Bouncing back from extended closures over the lockdown period is a challenging feat for all high street stores. Shaftesbury, who manage a portfolio of property across Soho and Carnaby Street, have adopted the strategy of reducing risk for tenants to entice more independent retailers and revitalise “homogenised” high streets.
Offering flexibility, short lease periods and risk-sharing is essential to incentivising retailers that would otherwise struggle to compete with larger multinational brands. This is accomplished through advanced tenant curation which allows Shaftesbury to not only filter the relevance and quality of tenants but also helps in reconstructing the high street back to what it was prior to its rapid commercialisation. Shaftesbury refers to key retail areas as “villages” – showing the sense of character the company is attempting to bring back to the West End.
Creating tenant mixes through convenient placements of services further builds centres for communities as can be seen with Shaftesbury’s inclusion of flexible work concept Assemble. Adding places of work is essential to building areas which offer all everyday services. Malmin Dental is an example of key placement within Canary Wharf to bring this independence back to the high street with its replacement of a Bang & Olufsen outlet.
Having a fresh take on our high streets is helping landlords to recognise that the commercial and social elements of communities need not be separate. Many surveys have shown that consumers prefer independent shops and wish to support smaller businesses. After all, many see the high street as the centre of our community so why shouldn’t it be populated with owners we know personally?
Bring Independence back to our high streets
The curation process for building successful tenant mixes can be extremely long and frustrating. Qualifyr aims to help rebuild the independent high street – utilising data-driven curation to speed up the process of finding and matching retailers with landlords such as Shaftesbury. The wide-scale re-invigoration of London’s high streets requires tools to help match agents with tenants that fit specific criteria and the processes used by Qualifyr such as automatic tenant matching can boost the speed at which our high streets regain their character.