Experience, community, storytelling: a roundup of LDC's 27th Retail and Leisure Trends Summit
Date published: Date modified: 2023-09-28

Hosted by NatWest at their London Bishopsgate Conference Centre for the second year running, our 27th Retail and Leisure Trends Summit took place last Thursday, the 21st of September.  

The event saw the launch of our latest analysis on H1 2023, including vacancy rates, openings and closures, regional and category performance, redevelopment activity and exclusive topical analyses based on the most recent trends. The report found that independents and multiples have seen a reversal in fortunes: across GB, independent retail and leisure saw a net decline of -1,915 units, the largest net decline for the sector in over 7 years.

In terms of location types, retail parks have continued to prosper thanks to grocery, health and beauty and food-to-go occupiers taking up large-format units. These retail categories were among the fastest-growing overall in the H1 2023 period, and, across the market, openings, closures and redevelopment activity persisted against a challenging economic backdrop.



LDC Commercial Director Lucy Stainton and Head of Insight & Analytics Ronald Nyakairu were joined by an expert panel from across the world of retail: ME+EM COO Phil Mickler, Lone Design Club CEO Rebecca Morter and Eurofund Group UK CEO Alberto Esguevillas. The panel shared their own perspectives on our latest analysis, and took audience questions including:

  • Has consumer spending become more methodical? 
  • How many brands are looking to make a return to the high street? 
  • How is the cost of living affecting your businesses, and how are you preparing for that? 
  • How do you think difficulties in the shopping centre and high street spaces are going to play out?

Additionally, they discussed current retail trends from their own perspectives. Fashion retail was a particular talking point, with Phil Mickler reporting that catalogues have made a comeback, and mother-and-daughter duos are increasingly experiencing fashion together. According to the experts, even younger shopper demographics are embracing the concept of the ‘investment piece’: high-quality, higher-price, more sustainable clothing that can be worn time and time again.

The panel also agreed on the importance of creating an exciting, multichannel consumer journey, summed up by Rebecca Morter’s emphasis on “experience, community and storytelling”.

Our H1 2023 retail and leisure trends report is now available for download. Click here to access your copy.

Sarah Abu-Amero, LDC Marketing Executive

Sarah Abu-Amero, LDC Marketing Executive The Local Data Company 901 901

Sarah joined LDC in 2021, having previously worked as a copywriter and social media manager. She supports the team with digital and written communication, planning and creating content for the company’s website and social accounts.

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