Landlords hungry for independents

ONE k3_TNP tagline_4c Lock-up 0802

Brought to you by Retail Insider and K3 Retail

Who has heard of The Fine Cheese Co.? Now, I’m betting that if you don’t live in Bath or London’s smart Belgravia then it is unlikely you will have come across this retailer. And that is probably just the way the landlord of its shop in the capital likes it.


How about Traders or Pavilion Wine? It’s the same story. Very few people will know about these wine stores and their owner because the landlords of these two units were again looking for fresh largely unknown operators.

These examples are indicative of how today’s progressive landlords of retail property are increasingly targeting independent operators to take on leases rather than lazily bringing in the same old over-shopped names. They now want a differentiated offer and are turning their sights to the independents that have proved their retailing skills.

The Fine Cheese Co. had been operating for 25 years in Bath when Grosvenor Estates came knocking to see if its owner Ann-Marie Dyas would be interested in taking on a second unit. After a beauty parade with other coveted independents The Fine Cheese Co.’ new unit opened in June.

At Traders and Pavilion Wine the owner Nathan Lowry had been running the Pall Mall Fine Wine shop when a couple of his regular customers (from property owner Blackstone) enjoyed his proposition so much they asked him if he would like to take on a unit they owned at St Katherine’s Dock. They recognised that such independents could give the area a shot in the arm.


Traders duly opened and around the same time another major landlord Cadogan Estates also wanted an independent food/drink business for a new unit in Knightsbridge and so Lowry was approached again. After a beauty parade Pavilion Wine successfully opened its doors in early August.

And just for good measure he then received a call from Soho Estates that led to him taking yet another central London unit. He reckons the site would have been aggressively fought over by the bigger operators if it had been put on the open market.

These examples are not unusual and the world of the independent retailer has arguably never been in ruder health. Size and scale are no longer the coveted property covenants. It is much more about a differentiated offering today.

Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider

K3 Retail deliver multi-channel solutions that enable retailers to create joined up shopping experiences for their customers whether they choose to buy on-line, direct, in-store or via mobile. It has over 20 years’ experience delivering award winning solutions, to more than 175 internationally recognised retail brands.

Read full story

Marks & Spencer leaps up table of best performing UK online drinks retailers in August

Marks & Spencer has the most improved drinks website in August according to its progress up the table of the Top UK drinks sites tested during the month, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, as it climbs 13 places into eighth spot. The retailer achieved a score of 4.02 […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Jon Owen, CEO of Ribble Cycles

Jon Owen, CEO, Ribble Cycles 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? At Ribble Cycles, we want to make it easy and enjoyable to build and buy a fantastic, customised bike online; avoiding the costs and hassle of the traditional store retail model, while delivering personalisation that stores can only dream of. The […]

Read full story

Primark and Asos moving to the ideal retail model. Or not?

Asos, Boohoo, Missguided, and Shop Direct are just a few of the online-only fashion retailers that are continuing to deliver outsized like-for-like sales increases. Leader of the pack Asos delivered a leap in sales of 30% for the four months to June compared with the same period last year and Boohoo’s recent numbers have been […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Sue Ryder

The Name: Sue Ryder The Place: 455 charity shops all over the country The Story: If I say to you “charity shop” what’s the first word that comes into your head? Musty: Right, how about “donations”? Waterfalls. What? Those weird pictures of waterfalls they always have. Or highland cows: Okay. Now how about “Sue Ryder”? […]

Read full story

Threat to retailers from brands selling direct-to-consumer moves up a notch

Everybody reading this will have heard of Unilever but probably fewer people will know of Dollar Shave Club (DSC) in the US. Well, the big news from across the Atlantic was that the former has just bought the latter for $1 billion. So what, you might ask. Well, the ramifications could be enormous for not […]

Read full story most improved UK online drinks retail website in July has stormed up the table of the Top UK drinks websites in July, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, as it delivers the most improved performance this month. It’s strong improvement, which has seen it climb 14 places to eighth spot in the table with a score of […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Matt Truman, CEO of True Capital

Matt Truman, CEO, True Capital 1.What is the greatest opportunity for the retail businesses you are involved with? There is a fundamental lack of growth in the retail industry but we are investing in disruptive businesses. There is a step-change in the value proposition for customers and the incumbents cannot compete. Take ‘Tyres On The […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – GoInStore

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2016 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) on July 6 a series of Q&As with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with  André Hordagoda, co-founder of GoInStore that is placed at number 23 in the report. […]

Read full story

Variety keeps The Fine Cheese Co. nicely maturing

Newly opened The Fine Cheese Co. store in London’s ultra smart Belgravia typifies the flexible retail formats that are becoming increasingly visible on high streets across the UK and not just those in the country’s flashier enclaves. It focuses mainly on cheese – as its name rather obviously suggests – but as well as selling  […]

Read full story

More intelligent returns management needed

Margins on online sales are of significant concern to retailers because compared with selling via stores the delivery of goods to the home and via Click & Collect are somewhat slimmer. Profitability via non-store channels is a sensitive and problematic issue and one of the key components of this are returns, which are the bane […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Brian McBride, chairman of Asos and Wiggle

Brian McBride, chairman of Asos and Wiggle 1. What is the greatest opportunity for the retail businesses you are involved with? I think every e-commerce business has the same phenomenal opportunity as we can clearly see the percentage of the retail market served by online rising inexorably daily, weekly, and monthly. If we perform averagely […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations report launch event

Retail Insider celebrated the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations Report 2016 with an evening event involving influential guest speakers and a tutored wine tasting along with a few additional surprises. The event and report, both sponsored by Webloyalty, attracted senior executives from a variety of retailers who enjoyed a first view of the report, […]

Read full story

Time to introduce new metrics in-store

As the customer experience in-store becomes so much more than just about flogging goods to anybody who crosses the threshold there is a need for different ways of measuring performance. Retailers are now starting to incorporate much more technology in-store including tablets and smarter Point-of-Sale devices for rich ‘clientelling’ activity that can massively enhance the […]

Read full story

Search for Digital Movers & Shakers 2016 underway

Finding the Movers & Shakers of 2016 in the digital space is firmly underway following the completion of the Advisory Panel morning this week that sits to deliberate who the most impressive people are in the UK. They are helping find the most impressive individuals who will take their place in the Retail Insider Movers […]

Read full story

Airport retailers on different digital plane

Distinguishing between retailers successfully navigating the digital world and those failing to acclimatise to the revolutionary change now taking place around them can be quite tough when you are on the outside. What might make this task easier is if we took it as a given that retailers who successfully operate airport stores are much […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Report 2016 launched

The ‘Digital Retail Innovations Report 2016’ has launched with Amazon commandeering the top end of the table with three innovations listed in the top 10 places. To access the report please click on the link below: Digital-Innovations-Report-2016 This year’s report, sponsored by Webloyalty, includes the Top 50 innovations in the UK and Ireland so it […]

Read full story

The Whisky Shop returns to top spot among major UK online drinks retailers in June

Specialist whisky retailer The Whisky Shop has delivered the most improved performance in the table of the Top UK drinks websites in June, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, and shares the top spot with Budgens this month. It climbs four places with a score of 5.58 out of […]

Read full story

Learnings from the world’s best B&B

Who would have believed that the world’s best B&B is a modestly proportioned place in the small village of Masham in North Yorkshire. But it’s true and Millgate Bed & Breakfast sits proudly atop the pile. When reading the Times newspaper recently I came across an article about the guest house that was set up […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Kochhaus

The Name: Kochhaus The Place: Various affluent and cosmopolitan cities in Germany, but it all started in Berlin which now has three branches The Story: Have you ever come across a concept so simple that you thought ‘That’s not an innovation, there must be loads of people doing that already’? I certainly have: Well, you […]

Read full story