While the retail sector is undergoing a structural change and facing uncertain economic times, it is clear that landlords need to adapt to these changes - "placemaking" and "curating" therefore continue to be buzzwords for landlords of retail assets.
In light of this, it is great to hear Grosvenor's attempts to tackle this via its "innovation board", which is looking at simplifying its leasing processes and has already set up a "retail concierge service".
Can shorter/simpler leases make it easier for independent brands to take physical stores? It certainly can't harm and that's why we are now more regularly seeing leasing models set up by way of a simple "front end" to a more comprehensive "leasebook". The leasebook is specifically drafted to provide a fair position for both landlord and tenant (with no further negotiation required), and the front end (which looks more like a heads of terms template) then captures any tenant/deal specifics.
Such an arrangement can work and is very conducive to helping retailers set up physical stores quickly and easily.
One such idea includes overhauling the company’s leasing processes. Staveley says the firm is looking at modernising the system. “We want to make our leasing processes electronic. It is more about being short, simple and electronic so [documents] can go backwards and forwards between us and the retailer and office occupiers.”