Quadrant Partner James Honeyman and Costa Coffee Property & Store Development Director James Hamilton have been elected co-chairs of Accessible Retail, the trade body that represents the property interests of the retail warehouse and retail park sector in the UK.
Taking over from outgoing chair, Dreams Director of Property, ESG and New Business Development Ben Whittle, James and James will lead the organisation across its core areas of networking, professional development, charity and lobbying.
Accessible Retail has over 1,000 members and represents a sector that is seeing growing interest from both retailers and investors as a result of changing consumer habits. Research from Cushman & Wakefield showed that investment in out-of-town retail parks more than doubled in 2021 compared to the previous year, with vacancy rates sitting at 6% compared to 16% for shopping centres and 14% for high streets.
James Honeyman said: “As the recovery from the pandemic continues, it’s a great time to be taking over as co-chair of an organisation of which I’ve been an active member for around 20 years. There is renewed enthusiasm for networking, ongoing change in the retail sector to navigate, and more need than ever for landlords and tenants to work together. It’s particularly appropriate therefore that, as the organisation’s first ever co-chairs, James and I together represent both landlord and tenant perspectives. We’re excited to be leading Accessible Retail and look forward to running an engaging and relevant programme of activities for our members.”
James Hamilton said: “With the strategic shifts in the retail property market, I am enthused to be alongside James leading the agenda for Accessible Retail. Consumer behaviours have evolved and the out-of-town sector is increasingly important for retailers and occupiers as part of their portfolios. Accessible Retail has a key role to play to help ensure the key issues for occupiers and owners across our membership are identified and that we focus our activity accordingly.”