Four of the biggest shopping centre landlords are trialling a reduction in the service charge at major shopping centres across the UK.

British Land has finally found a purchaser for a 50 per cent stake in its Meadowhall Shopping Centre, near Sheffield. London & Stamford Property and an overseas investor is paying £587.7m, reflecting an initial yield of 6.75 per cent.

Centros has received an unexpected setback at its £150m Canal Corridor North scheme in Lancaster. The Government Office for the North West (GONW) has decided to call the project in after extensive lobbying against the proposals by English Heritage.

Swedish hardware chain Clas Ohlson, has acquired its second UK site, taking a 25,000-sq ft unit at Manchester Arndale. Last Autumn it arrived in the UK with a store in Croydon’s Whitgift centre and it is on the look-out for more UK locations.

Oaklake Properties has completed its Weir retail park development at Rayleigh Weir in Essex.

Brighton’s Churchill Square shopping centre could be set for a major expansion under new plans drawn up by the centre’s landlord Standard Life Investments and Brighton & Hove City Council. The two want to see the shopping centre, which was last refurbished in the 1990s, extended southwards towards the seafront to facilitate the development of a new, world class convention centre and a high quality hotel and other new leisure facilities.

New planning rules could change the face of development when the market returns, writes Ian Anderson.

The British Retail Consortium says property matters will become life-or-death issues for retailers as the recession bites, writes Graham Parker

Climbing to the top of Mount Snowdon battered by a fierce, swirling wind our guide cried out: “Hold each other down!” He feared that one of us would be swept away to a cold and painful death. By locking arms, our combined weight would allow us all to live to see another day.

Republic is bucking the downturn with growing sales, discovers Glynn Davis

Coverpoint’s Jonathan Doughty serves up his regular foodservice review. This month he visits the new Villandry branch at the Bicester Village outlet mall

The property slump is threatening the viability of retail-led regeneration schemes across the country. Graham Parker looks at the new challenge to urban renewal

One of Britain’s most resilient shopping centres is the Vancouver Quarter in King’s Lynn, where new retail development is being used to kickstart further regeneration of the town.

No sooner are the decorations back in their box is it time for centres to start planning their festive displays for the next year. Hannah Prevett unwraps the trends hitting malls in 2009

Springfield Decorations and Display is one of the oldest players in the market, having been trading for over 40 years, and its projects are just getting bigger and better. Last year the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet at Ellesmere Port asked Springfield to create the largest artificial Christmas tree in the UK.

The landmark case between Boots and the Trafford Centre has raised eyebrows – and questions. Hannah Prevett investigates

Frankfurt’s Christmasworld show is a must-see for anybody in the trade of decking out shopping malls. What were this year’s standout trends, Shopping Centre asked Springfield’s Adrian Ford

Centres across the UK have been looking for ways of cutting the cost of Christmas 2009 without losing the essential sparkle. Graham Parker investigates some economical options

Christmas 2008 proved to be a roller-coaster ride for retailers. So which locations were the winners, and what strategies proved most successful in attracting shoppers, asks Graham Parker

Superquinn has taken drastic economy measures in the face of intense competition, including from the surge in consumer spending by shoppers going North across the border.

Swords Pavilions has continnued its bid to become the top retail destination on the north side of Dublin with a string of top fashion signings. The centre recently welcomed a host of major new stores including the new Peter Mark concept store Style Club with its ultra-modern approach to styling and exclusive gents barbers, an H&M superstore, Tommy Hilfiger as well as Elverys Sports, Hughes & Hughes and GameStop.

An Bord Pleanala has turned down the retail element of the highly ambitous scheme planned for Greystones, Co Wicklow, by two of Ireland’s best known retail property developers, Sean Dunne and Sean Mulryan.

Despite the highly publicised troubles of the Irish banking sector, it seems that some funding is available for further retail development.

Galway’s long-awaited new shopping centre looks set for further delays. Two years ago, ambitious plans were announced by CIE, the State public transport group, to develop the Ceannt Quarter scheme in the heart of Galway city.

The Junction One outlet centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland, is bucking the economic downturn with a strong sales uplift. The centre reports overall sales up 20 per cent year-on-year. And footfall at the 245,000-sq ft mixed outlet and full-price scheme was also up with over 50 per cent of the stores recording double-digit growth figures.

The credit crunch means the shopping centre development boom is over. So what schemes are on site, and what schemes have been put on ice, asks Hugh Oram

Developer Sean Dunne retains ambitions to be a major player in the Irish retail scene, discovers Hugh Oram

Hugh Oram looks at the inexorable rise of the hard discounters Aldi and Lidl

Tough times mean retailers will be seeking out every last penny, while landlords need to maximise income. Hannah Prevett investigates how managers can handle conflicting interests

With smaller marketing budgets becoming more prevalent, how can shopping centres make the case to potential advertisers? Hannah Prevett investigates

Shopping centres are having to work harder than ever to get people through their doors. But there’s a fine line between well co-ordinated, managed events and purely promotional activity, as Hannah Prevett discovers

Record Rent at Lion Yard, Cambridge

Even post-Christmas Sales were not enough to tempt shoppers to hit the stores, a new report has found. Synovate Retail Performance’s first Retail Traffic Index (RTI) figures for 2009 will make uncomfortable reading for shopping centre managers and retailers alike as the survey revealed the number of shopping trips made to non-food stores in January was down by 3.7 per cent against the same month a year ago, and by 27.9 per cent against December 2008’s figures.

Shopping centres have lost a third of their capital value since the peak of the last boom market, and further falls are on the way, according to new research from Knight Frank.

The proportion of retailers suffering poor financial health has “increased substantially” since the early 1990s, according to business consultancy FSP. Its recent analysis shows that the financial accounts of 40 per cent of multiple retailers, totalling over 13,000 stores, are in ‘very worrying’ shape.

The SCEPTRE Awards, rewarding the best practice and the best people in the UK’s shopping centre industry, are back – and this year they’re going to be bigger and better than ever.

IAN WARD has joined the LAND SECURITIES management team as centre manager for the Stratford Centre, located in the Olympic zone in east London. Prior to joining Land Securities, Ian spent three years as general manager of Marks & Spencer at Huddersfield. He joined M&S from Safeway where he spent 20 years in a variety of senior retail roles.

Movies about shopping centres are pretty thin on the ground, but this Spring there are two to look forward to. March 17 sees the UK release of Paul Blart: Mall Cop which has already been a hit in the US: it was the top-grossing move in screens across the USA during January. And it will be followed by Observe & Report, another movie about a shopping centre security guard.

Jason King

Management at the West 12 shopping centre – the other mall in London’s Shepherds Bush – is celebrating winning not just one but two categories in the annual ‘Loo of the Year Awards’.

ING’s County Square Shopping Centre in Ashford, Kent, has raised £1,000 through a series of fundraising events. All money raised will go to Demelza House Children’s Hospice in Kent, which provides residential care for sick children.

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