Schemes opt for benchmarks

The operators of a new UK shopping centre performance benchmarking index hope to attract up to 50 centres to use the service within months.

Benchmarx has been developed by design and marketing specialist Anderson, and market research agency North East One.

Exit surveys, as well as mystery shopper and focus group research, will be conducted at shopping centres signing up to the service.

North East One managing director David Shiel said this will allow shopping centres to be measured against key performance indicators - dwell time, frequency of visit, shoppers' perception of centres and average spend, both by region and centre size.

Anderson and North East One already undertake research for 20 Prudential shopping centres, including The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol and Manchester's Arndale. Shopping centres will pay£8,000 a year for a single exit survey.

Anderson research director Tony Westbrook said: 'Benchmarx will for the first time allow shopping centre performance to be measured across the UK.'