Hammerson has reached two significant landmarks on its next generation of schemes, winning a 600,000-sq ft project in Swansea and securing the second anchor for its Leeds scheme.

Regeneration specialist St Modwen has made significant progress on three substantial schemes.

New research underlines the challenges facing the property market - and more specifically shopping centres - in the year ahead. Both King Sturge and CBRE have adopted a bearish stance as the new year begins.

F ifteen years is a long time. We all get a little forgetful after the years have passed, so let me see if I can jog your memory. 1993 was the year in which the European Community eliminated trade barriers and created a European single market. Bill Clinton succeeded George HW Bush as the 42nd President of the United States of America.

Smoothie bars are growing in popularity in the UK with a large number of shopping centres jumping on the healthy bandwagon and introducing one of these drinks operators into their mall line-up.

== Branding is an integral ethos not a cosmetic fix ==

With the New Year comes a new and innovative way of reaching customers from the team at Pret, who have added another format to the traditional Pret retail units, Pret bicycles and Pret delivery vans that are now commonplace. Now we have the 'Pret Pod', which leads me to believe that Pret's New Year's resolution for 2008 is to introduce even more customers to its excellent range of products.

Before M&S chief executive Stuart Rose could even drop into Buckingham Palace to be dubbed Sir Stuart, the gloss has come off his much-hailed revival of the company. After a bruising Christmas the share price has dipped back below the 400p per share that Sir Philip Green was willing to bid four years ago.

The panel was hosted by Old Mutual directors Ian Watt and Ben Kodisang, and the discussion was opened by Watt. "Should shopping centres play a role in their local communities?" he asked. "In the end we're creating spaces for people to use."

New forms of retail crime, an evolving terrorist threat and the changing nature of shopping centres themselves all mean that retail schemes are having to constantly review their security.

Choosing the right CCTV system can be a minefield for shopping centre managers as technology continues to evolve.

Today's savvy under-16 shopper is having a greater influence than ever before on their parents' shopping habits, and as such shopping centres are paying closer attention to what their young consumers want.

The SCEPTRE Awards, rewarding the best practice and the best people in the UK's shopping centre industry, are back - and they're bigger and better than ever.

An idea that was developed back in the late 1960s is now operating to its full potential in the centre of Bloomsbury, London.

== ? durham ==

CHESTER PROPERTIES has appointed KATE METHUEN as marketing manager at Festival Park, Ebbw Vale. She has 10 years' marketing experience with Bass, Mitchells & Butlers, Mars and Britvic Soft Drinks.

The Bentall Centre in Kingston is the unexpected setting for the first exciting episode of the new series of ITV's hit sci-fi show, Primeval, which was broadcast on Saturday, January 12.

Edinburgh charity Streetwork has appointed Land Securities' UK head of retail operations, Nick Peel, to its board to help develop commercial opportunities.

Phil Corrigan, formerly of the Maltings St Albans, has been seconded by EFM Facilities to Skarholmen in Stockholm, one of the 10 Stockholm centres purchased by its client, Boultbee, in September this year.

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