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Hammerson set to step up its multichannel investment over the coming year

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Hammerson today signalled further investment in multichannel initiatives, as it released full-year results. During its 2016 financial year it will expand click and collect services as well as releasing a second version of its Plus app.

Leading property developer Hammerson operates 11 UK shopping centres including Brent Cross in Hendon, London; George Street, Croydon (pictured); Union Square, Aberdeen; Highcross, Leicester’ The Oracle in Reading and Cabot Circus in Bristol. Today Hammerson said its digital platform was now live in all of its centres. The Plus app, which sends shoppers real-time offers and content as well as offering information about centre news, live events and centre floorplans, has been downloaded 140,000 times. More than a quarter of shoppers who registered their information via the app, said Hammerson, have gone on to redeem an offer. A second version, due to go live in the spring, will include the ability to offer rewards for loyalty.

Hammerson said it was trialling new initiatives including click and collect, now available in four centres, and a programme of pop-up shops. In Brent Cross, an average of 400 parcels is now being handled every week, while the Oracle, launched in November 2015, is outperforming Brent Cross at the same stage of operation. The service will be expanded to more centres in 2016.

Meanwhile, interactive hoardings had seen more than two million interactions when they were trialled in four centres and retail parks over the course of six weeks.

The update came as Hammerson revealed that footfall in its UK shopping centres had risen by 1.1% in 2015, while retail sales were up by 1.3%. Occupancy stood at 98.3%, and net retail income rose by 2.1% on a like-for-like basis, which strips out the effect of store openings and closures.

Across the wider business, which also includes Ireland, net rental income reached £318.6m in the year to December 31, 4.2% up on the previous year, and 2.3% ahead on a like-for-like basis. Profits, including valuation charges, came in at £726.8m, 4% up on last time, while adjusted profit of £210.9m was 21% ahead of last time.

Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said: “2015 was a strong year for the business, with our assets well placed to take advantage of improving consumer confidence and growing retailer demand for space in prime regional destinations, resulting in meaningful ERV growth. A clear focus on our strategic priorities has delivered strong earnings growth of 13% and supports a five-year track record of 8% compound growth per annum.”

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