Retail insights

First edition: Jan-Sep 2023

Were you team Barbie? Or team Oppenheimer? Whatever your answer, the ‘Barbenheimer’ movie phenomenon was a driving force behind consumer activity, alongside a new flagship, a first-ever-store and a unique sustainable brand opening attracting people from near and afar to our destinations.

Our new quarterly retail data and insights, shared here for the first time today, showcases the impact of consumer activity and industry trends that we’re experiencing at our retail destinations across the UK.

The Barbie and Oppenheimer films created a huge buzz in the leisure industry, resulting in a rise in cinema sales across our destinations when the films were released in July. This had a ripple effect with positive sales reported across neighbouring food & beverage, and a boost to overall footfall across our destinations.

Mark Warne, Brand Account Director Hospitality & Leisure said: “The incredible performances of Barbie, Oppenheimer – and not forgetting Super Mario Bros - earlier in the year show that cinema continues to be the place where consumers want to experience film content at its most exciting and impactful. With more big releases scheduled for 2024, we’ll be watching how the quality of slate and constant focus by our brand partners on enhancing the cinematic experience will continue to create excitement for consumers.”

With a brand mix for people of all ages to engage with, we brought another cultural sensation to Bluewater in the summer, as YouTube group Sidemen opened their first-ever store. The hype was felt across the whole of Bluewater – with thousands of young people visiting to be part of the action. We  saw a huge spike in overall footfall at Bluewater on opening day, showcasing just how much unique experiences like this can have a halo effect that other brands can benefit from. 

Our Potential of Sustainable Retail report showed that people visiting our destinations expect a retail offer that meets the needs of local people and their community. We’ve seen this in action at White Rose in Leeds with a centre-wide rise in sales and footfall following the opening of a new flagship M&S. We’ve enhanced the value White Rose brings to the local community and economy with the new store – guests are travelling from further afield to visit, which will be further bolstered by the opening of a new train station next year. 

Polling in our report also revealed that people are more likely to visit a retail destination if sustainability is part of its make-up – including in the brand-mix. Sustainable fashion reseller Charity Super.Mkt recently joined us at Bluewater, where significant sales in the first week of opening resulted in 1.10 tonnes of clothing diverted from landfill. 

As well as doing good things for the planet, retail continues to create opportunities for local people. This quarter, we supported 21 charities across the UK with community grants through our Landsec Futures fund. We’ll be supporting many more local charities in the months to come.

Take a look at the video to take a deep dive into the numbers behind the insights. We’ll be back with our next quarterly insights from the ground in January, where we’ll showcase the impact of more consumer trends and how brands and our destinations are responding.