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Involved Partners: CBRE 

As the pandemic unfolded there was no rule book or procedures to follow, with guidance changing daily. We acted quickly and our agile approach saved £4.5 million in service charges over 2 years. With one way systems, occupancy tracking, sanitisation, signage and queueing guidance for retailers, a comprehensive retailer pack was produced with each retailer engaged individually. We created a strong proposition with our overarching campaign Play your part. We identified that responding to the mood of the nation was key. We wanted to support, inform and provide a safe space where everyone played their part.


The campaign drove a sense of belonging that we are all one community caring for retailers, staff and guests wellbeing. Our social and digital channels created a community hub to help people cope through lockdown and the challenges they were facing such as fear, boredom and mental health. We shared and created content such as “Boredom Busters”, daily activities for kids and adults, mindfulness, games, puzzles, links to daily exercise and even home beauty tips. Engagement increased on social by 2.5% and we grew our followers across all channels by 39% YOY by the end of 2020. The year delivered an increase in PR coverage by 95%, with a reach of 147.9 million and value of £4.5 million. We recognised many community groups were fighting for survival. We supported 30 charities in 2021, raising over £52K, lighting up our car park 9 times for different causes, supporting our buskers delivering over 423 performances and being headline sponsor of MK International Festival. Our re-opening campaign, “Grateful For” reached 6.6million through marketing channels, demonstrating measures implemented to return to centre:mk with confidence.

We outperformed the national benchmark, footfall 2 percentage points higher, retail sales +3.7% and retail conversion +9%. We emerged stronger from the pandemic.


“I have been the store manager in Milton Keynes T.K Maxx for the last 3.5 years, obviously throughout this time we have been through various lockdowns due to covid -during all these times the centre have been a great support they provided excellent signage to navigate customer they helped us man the external Queue -they provided excellent re-occupation packs with lots of information and guidelines , all of these have been a great support, more importantly than all this has been the constants support from Steph she has been absolutely amazing throughout this time she is always willing to help and answer questions, she will also do anything to help she always has a smile and nothing is too much trouble she is a real asset to the centre and has made returning to trade a lot easier.”

TK Maxx