Six months from opening, Multiplex's Eden development at High Wycombe is taking shape. The process of rebranding and refurbishing the existing Octagon Centre - which will be merged with the new scheme - is well advanced while the main anchor stores are fitting out.

There are multiple potential drivers behind the decision to refurbish, from simply refreshing and upgrading an ageing look, to defensive reasons when a new development arrives nearby. Whatever the driver, a refurb is generally about meeting contemporary retailing requirements (such as floor space and configuration) and modern fashions in terms of design and appearance, particularly given the latest research which shows that 'experience' is becoming all important to shoppers. And it is often a chance to extend and add floorspace, perhaps building over under-utilised spaces such as large outmoded service yards, or combining units to create more usable space.

As the consultation closes on the Draft Local Transport Bill we are calling on Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly not to relinquish the power to approve how revenue from local road-user charging is spent. We fear that, without that safeguard, local authorities will exploit charging schemes as a general revenue raiser.

By the time this article appears, the BCSC group will have returned from a study tour of some of Portugal's best and most innovative shopping centres.

Last week the Bloomberg newswire carried a story forecasting that commercial real estate prices in the USA would fall by 10 to 15 per cent over the next two years because of the credit crunch, quoting authoritative sources like the investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Specialist health products retailer Holland & Barrett is expanding its business in the UK and overseas, including taking on markets where other retailers have failed.

I've written many times that the essence of marketing is to create and retain customers profitably.

According to the BRC/KPMG retail sales monitor, UK retail sales in August were up 1.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis compared with August 2006. The three-month trend rate of growth was unchanged from July, at 2.1 per cent for like-for-like sales, and slipped to 4.0 per cent from 4.1 per cent for total sales, reflecting the continuing growth of retail space.

Nigel Brown runs a global property empire from an impressive office overlooking the Thames on London's South Bank. It forms part of St Martins' massive London Bridge City (LBC) complex, which pioneered corporate office development on the South Bank. Now it's a highly fashionable location but when LBC was built 20 years ago it was seen as a bold move.

With terrorism in the country here to stay, retailers and shopping centre managers are having to up their security in a bid to keep consumers visiting the shops. But the key to preventing terrorist attacks is firstly to attempt to understand terrorism.

Opened as one of the original Arndale Centres back in 1967, the Crossgates Centre in Leeds will celebrate its 40th birthday on September 21.

Shopping centre marketeers are always striving to find out more about their customers, the success of their marketing approaches, and how best to encourage those all-important shoppers to spend money. Research and data analysis are key to ensuring marketeers use their budgets wisely.

Proctor & Gamble commissioned BEcause to devise a campaign for its Pampers nappies brand.

== ? BALLYMENA ==

Greg Lumley has been manager of McArthurGlen's Ashford Designer Outlet for almost three years.

PETER FRAUNHOFFER has joined CBRE in a newly-created role of head of retail for CEE. He has spent the last 11 years looking after the CEE region for German shoe retailer, Deichmann. And SVEN BUCHSTEINER joins CBRE Germany from DTZ as head of retail research.

Camille Waxer, head of retail at Canary Wharf Group, has won the prestigious 2007 Harper's Bazaar & Aquascutum Businesswoman of the Year award. This is the fifth year the awards have taken place and the first time they have been sponsored by British luxury fashion brand Aquascutum.

Shoppers visiting Glasgow's St Enoch Centre, the official fashion sponsor of the Breast Cancer Care Scotland Fashion Show, saw pink last month as builders working on the site's £100m transformation donned bright pink hard hats to show their support for the charity.

Staff from British Land's Eastgate shopping centre in Basildon demonstrated their physical and mental endurance skills by completing a charity bikeathon to support the Touching Tiny Minds Appeal on behalf of Action Medical Research.

Westfield shopping centres are stocking a limited edition shopping bag inspired by the NSPCC's FULL STOP logo, to launch the company's £50,000 fundraising partnership with the leading children's charity.

Ivanhoe Cambridge, the Canadian owner and manager of Glasgow's St Enoch Centre, has concluded a £10m deal with Glasgow City Council to acquire the scheme's car park.

Highlight Parking Systems has been awarded the contract to provide its patented 'bay monitoring' system for the new 3,500-space multi-storey car park at Terminal 5 Heathrow.

Les Knight, new business director at Euro Car Parks, has taken over from Peter Guest as president of the British Parking Association.

Land Securities has scooped a Park Mark award for each of its three retail parks in Livingston, demonstrating its commitment to safety at its scheme.

The car park at Prince Bishops shopping centre in Durham has received a highly-regarded international award in recognition of its exceptionally high standards.

Legion Parking Services has launched its new Managed Enforcement Controlled Charging Service (MECCS).

Retailers and shoppers in Cardiff have been left outraged after NCP more than doubled tariffs at its three city centre car parks.

Demolition of The Bentall Centre's Car Park B in Kingston-upon-Thames has begun with rebuilding work set to be completed and the car park in full service by Christmas 2008.

Bullring Birmingham has replaced all of the 'traditional' locks on its APT SkiData pay-on-foot units with innovative programmable electronic locks and 'cyber' keys from Ez-Assure.

MetroCentre, Gateshead, has been awarded five Park Mark awards for each of its car parks amounting to nearly 10,000 free car parking spaces.

Construction of Hammerson's extension to the Shires shopping centre in Leicester and its new state-of-the-art 2,000-space multi-storey car park is now only months from completion.

While parking is a requirement for most shopping trips, it would be wrong to think that as people will have to use the car park anyway, there is no need to invest in a good facility.

With environmental issues high on the world's agenda, it is only natural that being green is at the forefront of most car park management companies' minds.

Car parks are becoming an increasingly important asset to shopping centres as the gateway to their scheme.

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