By, Nigel Parsons
Vendors using the StreetDots platform bucked the trend of flat to negative revenue growth and reported average year-on-year growth in August 2019 of 22%. The east of London faired particularly well, up 26%, driven by the perfect storm of increasing office relocations, and a shortfall of desired amenities. This positive news prompted us to dig deeper and question some of the assumptions surrounding placemaking in today’s environment.
London alone has over thirty indoor food halls/markets, a trend that shows no signs of slowing. However, figures from across the Atlantic already show the explosion of these ridged behemoths is starting to reverse, as over-saturation and the novelty factor quickly kick in.
By comparison, our latest annual research indicates that smaller, more bespoke clusters of vendors generate on average 36% more revenue. Crucially this phenomenon is not restricted to the plates and glasses of food and beverage. With little or no questioning, placemaking in the 21st century has found itself perched atop the twin pillars of experiential and personalisation (P&E). In reality, experiential tenants are not yet offering a meaningful edge as traffic like landlords thought*, with footfall peaking and declining in near-parallel since the fourth quarter of 2018.
Revenue uplift experienced by mobile businesses
The revenue uplift experienced by mobile businesses, who rotate around multiple locations vs. those that remain static. For those environments in which your main consumer group is habitual, and your product is specialised, the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of rotation. Regardless of geographical location across London, the data strongly indicates businesses that trade for a single day per week, in a specific location, perform significantly better than those doing multiple days.
Undeniably there are products or services that come to market driven by entrepreneurial blindness. However, far more simply, they don’t match the right offer, to the right place, at the right time. StreetDots assess every independent business on its platform against 43 unique criteria. Locations are then similarly categorised. Over the course of the last 12 months, we have discovered that vendors trading on market-matched locations earn 71% more than those that have a lower correlation.
If environments are fluid and dynamic, we can no longer seek to impose rigid, inflexible ways of working that stifle mobility. Placemaking 2.0 flips the model 180 degrees and puts the individual at its core. It builds rotating, flexible, mobile and hyperlocal connections, to benefit these increasingly diverse individuals in whatever environment they interact, for the specific time they inhabit that space.