Newest trends in a fast-changing sector, exploring what works
The retail and hospitality sector faces an unprecedented era of flux. Probably one of the sectors most affected by COVID-19, the successive lockdowns and social distancing measures drove the collapse of retail giants and the drop in international tourism left food and beverage outlets and hotels with minimum occupancy rates, causing central business districts to lose their vibrancy. How can the built environment sector adapt successfully and promote the recovery of London’s town centres and high streets?
From world-leading shopping street destinations, to neighbourhood high streets and meanwhile spaces, London encompasses a diverse spectrum of retail and hospitality environments. With the rise of rents, new technologies and changing consumer expectations, London’s retail and hospitality landscape was already evolving fast to meet new demands; if anything, the pandemic has accelerated these trends.
But these changes can also bring opportunities. Can placemaking strategies revitalise the high street making them safe and attractive for people to return once the pandemic is over? What flexible approaches can ensure mixed use developments are driving the recovery? How will the change in Use Classes and Permitted Development Rights affect this? How can a brand’s physical environment and virtual presence successfully coexist?
This year-round programme examines the changing landscape of London’s retail and hospitality sector, investigating the current threats to the sector and exploring best practice solutions to meet changing demands.
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