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Fight-back at the Festival – Updating Grosvenor’s Basingstoke Shopping Centre
Festival Place in Basingstoke is Hampshire’s leading regional shopping centre – though in recent years it has been increasingly challenged by the competition in Southampton and Reading. Landlords Grosvenor hired Jones Lang LaSalle to work with them and their other external partners to gear up for the future and ensure Festival Place stays at the top of the tree. Situated in the heart of Basingstoke town centre, Festival Place has the central bus station within the shopping complex and also the railway station a stone’s throw away. With anchors Marks and Spencer, BHS, Debenhams, Vue Cinemas and TK Maxx in a million square feet of retail space attracting 20.3 million visitors a year, it had – we felt – a lot to offer. The challenge was to work with Grosvenor and its other partners in understanding the Centre’s marketing, getting the best possible fix on the competition, and then helping implement the strategy to maintain its pre-eminence.Soon, change got under way. It included researching the competition, refocusing major events like the Fashion Festival, supporting the introduction of new marketing agencies to assist in these initiatives along with the tendering and introduction of new “best in class” FM partners, demanding new standards of health and safety, and ensuring the highest of expectations of customer care.The results have been impressive. In 2007 the Centre successfully achieved both Investors in People and Place to be Proud Of status, won the ROSPA Gold award, the English Town Council’s Welcome to Excellence mark, The Purple Apple Marketing award and the ISO 14001 environmental management accreditation. This year, these were capped with another Purple Apple marketing award, the ROSPA Gold award and a positive growth in footfall figures. Despite the strength of the competition, Festival Place has retained its position as Hampshire’s leading shopping centre.