Legal & General invests in innovation
As non-essential retail was allowed to reopen in England, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) Real Assets took the opportunity to launch its blueprint for the high street of the future by revamping Kingsland Crescent in Poole, Dorset, to become the new curated shopping street ‘Kingland’.
The street, situated alongside LGIM’s Dolphin Shopping Centre, brings together 10 new, innovative entrepreneurs, each given a shop with no rent and no business rates for the first two years. The idea was to give the start-ups the space and freedom to create and curate their offering and ‘inject a new identity and vibrancy’ into the town centre.
The line-up was carefully curated by LGIM and includes a fishmonger, a coffee roaster, a design studio, a surfboard shop, a zero-waste grocery store, an art gallery, a gin bar and store, a home interiors specialist, a restored second-hand furniture shop, and a perfumer.
“Kingland is a physical manifestation of what can happen when you offer deliberately ambitious, bold, creative, standout brands – who are doing something a bit different – a platform to launch their ideas and share their stories,” Denz Ibrahim, head of retail and futuring for LGIM Real Assets, explained.
“It will deliver a market-leading environment jam-packed with hand-picked brands, programmed events and content all sourced locally. It’s a great example of our role as an editor of space, shaping environments to ensure we have the right content, at the right time, in the right places.”
Kingland Crescent is the first step in Legal & General’s long-term plans for the area which will see innovation and investment in the neighbouring Dolphin Shopping Centre. Within the next 12 months, further units are set to open at the shopping street as part of the project’s next phase. Plans to bring an annual programme of local events to the new retail space are already underway.
Following the rollout of Kingsland, LGIM is looking beyond the next 24 months and the programme is already being prepared for roll out across a number of other UK locations, with plans to curate each offering depending on the local community’s wants and needs.
Head of real assets at LGIM, Bill Hughes, said that moving forward traditional retailers have had to respond, or risk being left behind: “As owners, investors, and innovators, we have a responsibility to ensure that we are delivering future ready places. And, through supporting localism and regeneration, we bring significant positive social and economic impact.
“This approach is testament to our focus on both the occupier and final customer, and demonstrates our commitment to bring innovation to the real estate sector. This will be key to remaining relevant and resilient in a post-Covid world.”