Expensive plans for Cheapside

An exciting retail development is planned for London's Cheapside in the heart of the city. This is a bustling area during the week, but at weekends is almost deserted. The postwar buildings on Cheapside are coming to the end of their life and it is proposed to develop 167 new retail units in this area by 2012, requiring a shift from five-day to seven-day trading. (The Times, 4 February 2008)

One of the largest developers involved in the Cheapside Retail Initiative, Land Securities, plans the biggest development, 'One New Change' (40% of the scheme) next to St Paul's cathedral. This will have 220,000 sq ft of new retail space at a cost of £500 million and should be ready by autumn 2010. The development includes a viewing deck overlooking St Paul's. (The Times, 4 February 2008)

A Land Securities spokesman said: 'The key will be having the right mix of leisure activities in terms of restaurants and places where people can stop to browse. Shopping is evolving. It's becoming much more a leisure activity.' (The Times, 4 February 2008)

To accommodate visitors to the Cheapside development, the City will need to extend the transport it currently provides for five days to run on all seven. There are plans to open the Waterloo and City Underground line at weekends and all parking is expected to be free. (The Times, 4 February 2008)

Peter Murray, director of New London Architecture and curator of SHOP said: 'The threat for London is not local or national but international. We need the boutiques, the markets and the likes of Marylebone High Street to retain their cutting-edge just as much we need new retail developments at Wembley, Stratford and White City to meet demand. The challenge is for planners and developers to have the vision to be innovative and get the balance right between creating new retail destinations and investing in existing town and local centres.' (New London Architecture – online press article)

See the Times 100 case study on Land Securities. In recent years Land Securities has developed a new business strategy. This is 'to invest in property in sectors where we have expertise and operational skills which give us competitive advantage'. Land Securities' five-year plan focuses on providing a range of buildings and services where people can live, work and relax. By planning, measuring and monitoring its performance, Land Securities gains advantages over its competitors. In addition, its stakeholder relationships are central part of meeting this strategy.


The Times, 4 February 2008 (print edition)

The Times Online – Could the City come to life at weekends?, 4 February 2008

New London Architecture – A major new exhibition and talk series at New London Architecture examines the future of retail, 3 April 2007

The Times 100 Case Studies – Land Securities, Using strategy and planning to measure, monitor and report performance

Potential study questions:

  • Corporate planning starts with corporate aims – define corporate aims.
  • What five qualities must a corporate objective have in order to be SMART?
  • Look at the case study: explain 'corporate responsibility' and say how Land Securities exercises this.