Addressing an audience of retail heavyweights, Ben Reed, First Base’s Head of Brand Engagement talked about the changing needs of the consumer, especially Millennials. No longer are they defined by the immediate purchase, they more and more long to personalise, customise, to get involved, to be part of the experience.
This fitted with the theme of REVO 2017 , the annual conference which brings together professionals with the retail and leisure industry. Titled ‘Changing markets, changing formats and the repositioning of retail places’, this discussion was one of the highlights of the three day conference.
Ben spoke about Silvertown, the 7 million sq.ft. development in the Royal Docks where First Base is leading the redevelopment of the derelict area into a new piece of city with places and spaces to make, show and share. He discussed how Silvertown is not about the retail environment, and instead is designed specifically to deliver brand experiences for consumers and businesses.
The environment created at Silvertown will be curated by the people who enjoy it; with flexibility at its core. This will result in an ever-changing mix of uses, activities, events and opportunities to take part in, to share with others and to experience.
Ben was joined by an expert panel which consisted of leading developers Urban Splash, Hammerson and Central Working who expressed how real estate developers, investors and occupiers must think outside of the box to deliver creative mixed use spaces.
Quotes from Ben whilst on the panel included:
‘Space that isn’t just about buying – omni-channel marketing is taking over’
‘PROPTECH is coming in a big way’
‘Learn from other places – cheat. Look at Berlin, New York, even Las Vegas, transforming leisure time’
With particular emphasis on the benefits of placemaking:
‘Turn obligation into an opportunity – it creates destinations’
‘You’re saying to your audience, we are listening to you – small to big, it’s making a community, elicit emotions, creating memories, giving people things to do, how we consume our time’