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A Transforming Skyline: Understanding the Working Population

Wednesday 7 November 2018 Property DevelopmentRetail ConsultancyShopping Behaviour

Frances Goodfellow's picture
By Frances Goodfellow

The London skyline, like that of New York, Barcelona or Tokyo, is a well-known image across the globe. Each of these cities has their own unique characteristics of architecture which make them so easily recognisable. New York’s skyscrapers, the uniformity of Barcelona’s aerial view intertwined with its chaotic gothic quarter, and the tranquillity of Mount Fuji towering behind the blazing lights of Tokyo, are each so different from one another. London’s skyline has transformed in the last 10 years alone, with The Shard, The Cheesegrater and The Walky Talky all cementing themselves within what is now part of the London iconic skyline. It has primarily been the need for more office space, and the desire by companies to be located in the heart of the capital, which has resulted in building upwards, and transforming the skyline.
 

The City of London

The total office space under construction in 2017 in The City of London alone, totalled 7.3 million sq. ft of space. Of the 25 new office schemes in central London last year, 14 of these under construction were located within the West End. With this increasing workforce comes a wider demand for coffee shops, ‘grab and go’ lunch options, leisure and gym provision, and locations to meet for working lunches a stone’s throw from the office.

In 2017 there was a total of 7.3 million sq. ft of office space under construction in The City of London

Deloitte

However, ensuring the surrounding retail, catering and leisure provision aligns to the demographic of the workers close by is essential to satisfy their needs, capitalise on their wallets, and in turn help retain and attract new leases for these office buildings.
 

Understanding the working population

CACI’s Workforce Acorn is a powerful consumer classification tool that segments the UK’s working population at their place of work. By analysing demographic data, social factors, consumer behaviour and commuter patterns, Workforce Acorn provides an understanding of the different types of people working in proximity to their business.

Within 0.5km of Oxford Circus tube station there are in excess of 92,000 workers

CACI Workforce Acorn

Within 0.5km of Oxford Circus tube station there are in excess of 92,000 workers, with over 100,000 within the same distance of Canary Wharf station. However, the demographics of these workers differ significantly, and as a result so do their requirements. For example, within 0.5km of Canary Wharf there are 22% more Affluent Achievers (middle aged affluent families, typically living in suburban locations) working, compared to the West End. Whereas the West End sees 5% more Rising Prosperity (young affluent city dwellers) and 26% more Urban Adversity workers than within the same distance of Canary Wharf.
 

Profile of workers within 0.5km of The West End vs 0.5km of Canary Wharf
 

Acorn workers

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Affluent Achievers working in cities typically live in suburban commuter towns and therefore have longer travel times into their place of work, often by train. Compared to those living more centrally, they are less likely to purchase their breakfast at their place of work, however they regularly purchase coffee throughout their working day, as well as tending to purchase lunch on a daily basis, where quality and proximity are key.

Given that these Acorn groups tend to have young or teenage children they are less likely to dine out after work, favouring to return home to spend time with family. They are high spenders who opt for premium goods and services, therefore aligning the catering and retail provision around the locations in which they work should focus on upmarket ‘grab and go’ or coffee outlets, as well as premium retailers offering efficient Click & Collect provision. Canary Wharf have done just this, introducing brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Jo Malone, Ole & Steen and Taylor Street Baristas, which align well to the demographic who make up over a fifth of the workers close by.

Canary Wharf have introduced brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Taylor Street Baristas which align well to the demographic of works close by

Rising Prosperity on the other hand require very different things from their work place surroundings. This young urban living group purchase lunch at work slightly less frequently than the likes of Affluent Achievers and are more conscious of the price point when they do. However, they are more likely to purchase breakfast prior to work close by and frequently go out for dinner, contributing well to the evening economy. This social generation are key users of leisure, who expect something different to the norm and drive new trends.
 

Ensuring the right provision

The growing office space within the capital presents an opportunity for multiple sectors to expand alongside it. Understanding workers in the context of their demographic provides a much more detailed knowledge of who they are and what they want from their place of work. This is turn can help ensure the right provision is introduced in close proximity to both new and existing office sites, to ensure workers’ needs are met accordingly.

 

To find our more information on how you can better understand the worker population, please get in touch.

 

Retail Landscape Report

The growing office space within the capital presents an opportunity for multiple sectors to expand alongside it. But to ensure the right provision, you must understand the demographics of the workers and what they want from their place of work

A Transforming Skyline: Understanding the Working Population