The Evolution of Town Centres

“New report highlights importance of good food and beverage and leisure offer in maintaining footfall in town centres”

New report highlights importance of good food and beverage and leisure offer in maintaining footfall in town centres: The importance of a good food and beverage and leisure offer in maintaining footfall to local town centres, with online shopping continuing to increase in popularity, has been highlighted in a new report. The findings by the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership, a joint venture between Legal & General Capital and Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, together with Bracknell Forest Council, showed 52% of respondents believed better or more food and beverage and leisure facilities would help draw shoppers to their local town centre, rather than shopping online. The research revealed the mix of food and beverage and leisure in the town centre is one of its key assets, with more than a quarter of all age groups under 55 saying they enjoyed using food and beverage and leisure facilities when they visited the town centre, and more than a quarter (29%) saying better or more restaurants would improve the town centre. More than three quarters (83%) said they used the internet to shop more than they did five years ago, while only 6% said they never shopped online. According to the research, the frequency of online shopping decreases with age, with 69% of under-34s saying they preferred to shop online more, or as much, as shopping in-store, while more than half (51%) of over-35s preferred to shop in-store. Richard Poyser, retail leasing manager at Legal & General Capital, said: “With continued speculation around the ‘death of the high street’, it’s very reassuring to see that people would still prefer to shop in store than online. However, as young people increasingly desire social experiences when shopping, it is important for town centres to ensure a good mix of food and beverage and leisure to provide a range of experiences to support the retail offer.” The Bracknell Regeneration Partnership is investing £768m in the regeneration of the Bracknell Forest area, including £240m on 580,000 square feet of new retail, restaurant and leisure space known as The Lexicon Bracknell. It includes a restaurant-lined Eagle Lane, which will be home to brands such as Casual Dining Group-owned Las Iguanas, Prezzo’s Tex Mex brand Chimichanga and Nando’s.

 

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