Retail key to mixed-use placemaking projects says report

11th January 2017

Val d'Europe

Retail is taking a vital role in the growing trend of placemaking, utilising new technology to create spaces that shoppers return to despite online competition, according to a new report from property group CBRE.

“The role of retail in defining and creating a place is becoming ever more important,” says CBRE head of EMEA Retail Research Andrew Phipps. “People expect to have compelling retail near their home, office and leisure destinations. Retail pulls places together and it creates reasons to visit and encourages people to return and to spend more time when visiting. We will see retail at the heart of many new placemaking visions throughout the next decade and beyond.”

The report highlights 22 retail centres from around the world which illustrate the varied ways that owners and occupants are creating unique consumer experiences.

Examples include Spitalfields in London, recognised for its integration into the public realm and its use of leisure attractions alongside stores. Val d’Europe Shopping Centre in France is noted for its use of digital totems and interactive kiosks.

Each case study includes at least one of the five key placemaking components identified by CBRE. These are the inclusion of leisure elements such as bars, restaurants, theatres or events; incorporation of technology such as social media, public wifi and parking apps; consideration of sustainability issues; a focus on vertical, multisensory retail; and a strong masterplan combining varied uses in one property.