Retail Delivery: The Steps to Success

Jamie Chard
Commercial clients rely heavily on a smooth retail delivery process to assist with the successful opening of a new retail and leisure development.

Any new retail and leisure development represents a significant investment for a client and their funders and retail delivery is one of the key success factors that sits alongside letting, marketing and construction, to ensure that the project is a success.

Retail delivery is best described as the process that facilitates an agreement between a landlord and a tenant and includes identifing a retail letting space right through to opening a retail unit for trading. This process is undertaken in both existing and new retail developments and is recognised as a standardised process.

In existing retail developments, shopping centres and high street environments, retail delivery is typically undertaken by the on site management team and their managing agents and leasing surveyors.

Retail delivery is best described as the process that facilitates an agreement between a landlord and a tenant and includes identifing a retail letting space right through to opening a retail unit for trading. 

In new retail and leisure developments the process is generally undertaken by a dedicated retail delivery management team. This team can be an extension to the client development team, the project management team or a stand-alone independent team.

At Faithful+Gould we have key individuals who have experience of establishing and managing successful retail delivery management teams. They can raise tenant design standards to meet client aspirations and assist with ensuring that retail units open for trading on time, to coincide with the completion of the overall development.

New developments tend to reap more benefits if a dedicated retail delivery team is established at an early stage in the construction process. It is important that the main contractor has formal contract duties associated with the retail delivery process and care should be taken during the pre-construction stage to ensure that contract documents capture the requirements of the retail delivery process.

New developments tend to reap more benefits if a dedicated retail delivery team is established at an early stage in the construction process.

The key steps undertaken by the retail delivery team include:

  • Producing a project specific tenant handbook which details the client vision statement, unit specifications, design guides, the approval process, contractor site contraints and logistics plan and unit services information. 
  • Briefing the tenants on the requirements of the handbook and engage with them throughout the process to ensure that information is agreed at the appropriate milestone stage approvals.
  • Checking the draft heads of terms for each proposed tenant with the leasing team to ensure that the outline specification can be delivered. 
  • Informing stakeholders of any anomalies in specification and associated cost/programme implications.
  • Working with the tenant and their representatives to agree a detailed specification in accordance with the heads of terms that can be appended to the agreement for lease. 
  • Inputting into the agreement for lease negotiations to ensure that the landlord obligations in terms of timing, delivery and specification are in accordance with the main contractor's contract documents.
  • Managing the main contractor change control process (if required) in conjunction with the project management team, once the agreement for lease is exchanged. 
  • Managing the tenant change control process in conjunction with the project management team.
  • Gathering all appropriate completion documentation such as Health and Safety File, Building Control certificates, commissioning certificates, EPC etc once the tenant has opened for trade.
  • Facilitate settlement of all accounts e.g. tenant changes/inducement sums/approval fees/specialist contractor connection costs etc.

The successful delivery of these services not only maintains excellent relationships with clients but allows for the development of new and exciting relationships with a whole range of local, national and multi-national tenants.

I am based at Faithful+Gould's Cardiff office and was the co-author of the original British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) Shop Fitting Guide for New Tenancies – 2005, for more information please refer to the BCSC Guide to Retail Delivery 2013.

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