On 10th February 2014 I will publish the 2013 LDC vacancy report which is called ‘Divide and Rule’. We have had our largest take up of attendees at over 200 which is excellent and will hopefully drive a lively debate on the report’s findings. I would like to thank Freshfields for kindly agreeing to host this event as content and venue make for a great event!
As on previous occasions I will present the report’s findings which has looked at over 2,000 towns, shopping centres and retail parks across England, Scotland and Wales. The panel is the most important ingredient to each of our retail summits and we have been very fortunate to have bright, experienced and knowledgable panels for all our previous summits. You want a good debate and not have people who all agree or are not comfortable in expressing their opinions publicly. We always strive to have a journalist who covers the subject area, a politician from an interesting part of the country or with a relevant brief. A landlord and/or occupier who lives and breaths the reality of operating shops and finally an academic or professional adviser who has extensive experience across multiple industry facets. I am delighted to report that next week we have managed to achieve this again. Below are short bios of the chair-lady and panellists and I can assure you that, if previous summits are anything to go by, the debate will be lively, informative and the best possible start to your day!
Summit Chair -Claer Barrett (@ClaerB)
Claer Barrett is deputy UK news editor of the Financial Times, a position she has held for two years, editing the front section of the newspaper. Prior to this, she was the FT’s retail correspondent, charting the demise of the high street, and before that, associate editor of the Investors Chronicle, where she specialised in property. She frequently appears on BBC radio speaking about business and consumer issues.
Priti Patel MP (@priti4witham)
Priti Patel was elected as the first Member of Parliament for the Witham Constituency in May 2010. She is an elected Member of the Conservative Party Board, the 1922 Committee’s Executive and the Public Administration Select Committee. She also chairs the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group and is an active member of the Free Enterprise Group. In 2013, she was appointed by the Prime Minister as the UK Government’s Dispora Champion. Prior to the 2010 General Election, she was the Director of Corporate Communications at a large international company.
Emma Simpson (@BBCEmmaSimpson)
Emma Simpson is a correspondent with the BBC Business and Economics Unit and reports on a range of stories across BBC Network News. During her many years with the BBC, she’s reported from abroad and across the UK in a number of different roles. She arrived in the Business Unit four years ago to help out with some holiday cover and has been kept busy there ever since! As part of her duties, Emma keeps an eye on the changing face of retail.
Mark Robinson (@ellandi_mark)
Mark Robison, MRICS, is the founding partner of Ellandi LLP, one of the country’s leading town centre, shopping centre investors. Ellandi’s rapidly growing portfolio has a value of nearly £300m and at present comprises shopping centres in locations such as St Austell, Kettering, Eastleigh, Grays and Nailsea. Ellandi’s investment rational is to buy underperforming town centre assets that can be transformed by the application of expertise and capital to reposition them at the heart of their communities and bring the shopping experience that the local catchment deserves. Ellandi is passionate about bringing the best customer experience to the towns in which they operate, which was recognised by not one, but two platinum awards at the Loo of the Year awards 2013!