Stephen Hawking once said, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”. Well, the world is buzzing with change, but what are we doing about it?

Stephen Hawking once said, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”. Well, the world is buzzing with change, but what are we doing about it? The retail and property sector is rolling out new ideas and initiatives on a daily basis, and I am proud to say many of them are Innesco’s clients. Look outside and you’ll see all the signs; those managing uncertainty with the banks, reassessing their retail property assets, rewriting business and marketing plans, using architecture and design to invigorate shopping places, adjusting tenant mixes, enhancing customer experience, and utilising new technology to increase revenues and reach customers better.

Market forces have always been at play across the sector, from gold medal winning centres down to the struggling Portas towns. What will divide the winners from the ‘not so successful’ will be the speed retailers and landlords respond to anticipated changes in the wider marketplace – the global marketplace. This is a universal truth, whether you’re in Perth or Paris, Stratford or Stockholm, São Paulo or Shepherd’s Bush. Fortune favours the brave, and while not everyone is doing well, what’s clear is that those with the courage to communicate their own brand of change will leave the traditional and conventional thinkers trailing in their wake – and they know who they are.

In the coming week there are two important conventions for this sector – the BCSC’s Annual Conference in Liverpool, and the ICSC’s World Summit in Shanghai. High on people’s list of discussion points will be the conviction to adapt in a changing world – harnessing inexorable changes in consumer behaviour, to successfully capitalising on once in a lifetime opportunities such as the Olympic Games. When we look back on 2012 this Christmas, ‘innovate’ and ‘adapt’ will have been the watchwords of 2012.

  • Dan Innes, Managing Director, Innesco

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