Last week I was invited to present at the 5th Annual Norwegian Real Estate and Retail Conference in Oslo, run by NE Kunnskap, which is the institute for commercial property in Norway.
The economy is Norway is very different to the UK, thanks to their oil resources. In terms of retail they have low shop vacancy rates in comparison to the UK, and have recently had an increase in luxury brands entering the market (which correlates to the strength of the economy). However the speaker before me, from McKinsey & Co, highlighted what I see as a trend occurring around the world, that there is a structural shift in retailing with the increasing dominance of on-line and use of multi-channel approaches. This translates to a need for less physical shops for retailing along with an increase in demand for prime locations.
For my presentation, with an audience from a property and retail background, I thought it was important to highlight where I believe the use of vacant space for alternative uses, on non-commercial terms, can create value.
A copy of my presentation is available on Slideshare. Some points which I would like to highlight are:
- In low footfall areas the pop-up concept can be reborn as a tool for community innovation – the property industry could be making better use of the increasing level of community energy in our towns and cities.
- Use of under-utilised or wasted property on a temporary basis can create new markets, target new audiences and help the community prosper – need to think long term in the short term.
- Access to empty property on the high street for social/community uses will become integral to corporate brands and big business, who are all looking to regain local trust and influence.
- The importance of the new sharing economy combined with increased transparency and the introduction of fluidity of use of property – these are themes which I believe are capable of disrupting the established commercial property industry model.
- Access to otherwise vacant space for community/cultural use on non commercial terms can create social, financial and capital value.
- A trust mechanism is important when implementing fluid and free of charge access to a property asset.
Have a look at the presentation and it would be great to know if you have any thoughts or feedback on the topic. Please email me email@example.com if have any comments.
Featured image: Visit Oslo - https://www.facebook.com/VisitOslo