With over 7.5 million tourist visits each year, Regent Street has a reputation for being the premier retail destination in London’s West End. With a street frontage of 2km, home to over 700 small and medium sized businesses, and over 150 retail and catering outlets, Regent Street represents the largest concentration of value in The Crown Estate’s portfolio. As such, it experiences heavy road congestion which results in an unpleasant shopping environment for visitors.
As part of the £750 million regeneration of Regent Street, The Crown Estate initiated a comprehensive public realm strategy to create better conditions for visitors, workers, residents and shoppers. One of the objectives was to create more footway space to allow better accessibility to retail outlets which would increase a retailer’s turnover and ultimately result in a higher rental value for the property. To achieve this, traffic on Regent Street had to be reduced, of which a significant proportion is attributed to delivery vehicles.
Arup was commissioned to bring forward measures to reduce the volume of delivery vehicles around Regent Street. Extensive experience in delivering urban logistic solutions enabled the management of complex scenarios involving multiple stakeholder groups, ensuring that we deliver value for all associated parties.
It was discovered that retail deliveries were uncontrolled, causing unnecessary congestion and road blockages during peak retail periods, with delivery vehicles accounting for 35% of all peak hour traffic. To improve overall retail logistics efficiency, Arup proposed the use of a retail consolidation centre, the first in the UK to make use of existing operational facilities.
The consolidation centre provides a unique delivery solution which allows retailers to consolidate deliveries from all suppliers to one easily accessible point outside of the congestion charging zone. Deliveries to the store are then consolidated into one consignment and delivered at a pre-arranged time via an electric truck. As well as providing a more cost-effective way to manage stock, the scheme helps to drive footfall, increase sales, and address environmental targets. Since the scheme has been implemented there has been an 80% reduction in lorry movements associated with retailers on Regent Street, with 21 retailers signing up to the scheme including Liberty, Ferrari, Banana Republic and Gap.
“The solution that Arup has devised for Regent Street is innovative and for the first time, has challenged the way in which a landlord can impact upon its tenants’ operations. The consolidation centre is helping deliver a better environment for our tenants.” - Peter Bourne, Development Manager, The Crown Estate