MIPIM 2015: Landlords embracing B2C business in tech revolution, say property chiefs

11 Mar 2015

Policy area: Town centre & Retail

Property’s changing technological landscape is causing developers to shift their focus on to customers as well as occupiers, property chiefs told a MIPIM seminar today.

‎At Remote Control, a seminar held jointly by the British Property Federation (BPF) and Addleshaw Goddard, a City law firm, delegates heard how digital innovations were having a profound shift on people’s lifestyles.

Retail and office working have seen seismic shifts in recent years and according to British Land chief executive Chris Grigg, a past president of the BPF, this has had a “significant” impact on the commercial property sector.

Grigg said: "Technology is affecting how our customers behave and having a significant impact on what people want and how they get it. We are seeing a shift in focus from people who sign leases to those who will be working in buildings."

Jane Hollinshead, partner at Addleshaw Goddard, said: “Retailers and landlords have been forced to evolve their approach. But companies need their customers to interact in a hands-on fashion with their brands. New technology takes this to a whole new level and what we’re seeing is a genuine blurring of online and offline shopping.”

Following the event, chief executive of BPF Melanie Leech said: "As we have outlined in our manifesto, the real estate industry has an integral part to play in helping businesses and communities to keep up with the fast-paced changes that we are seeing in the world of technology. It is right that we are seeing developers adapt to customers' changing needs as this will enable companies to grow and respond to technological advances in the future."

Lynda Shillaw, chief executive of Manchester Airport Group, which serves 22 million passengers annualy, said: “Being able to embrace demographic change, keep up with how millennials communicate and ensure our organization is diverse and reflective of the world around us is a challenge we are all needing to meet.”