Arca Blanca with Landsec


Pressure on retail landlords has never been greater. In 2019, over 16,000 stores closed, impacting 140,000 employees. The remaining retailers were achieving rent reductions of up to 30%, with shorter lease lengths and longer rent-free periods. The Covid-19 crisis only increased this pressure: by summer 2020 less than a third of retail rents were being paid on time.

As one of the largest retail space owners in the UK, Landsec saw its share price fall by almost 50% in 2 months. A new CEO, Mark Allan, committed to laying out a bold new strategy.

The business needed a new way to predict future retail performance and gain proprietary insight. These insights needed to be reliable and adaptable to volatile market conditions.

Arca Blanca’s solution was to build a bespoke Dynamic Strategy tool that forecasts retail rents, affordability for retailers and consumer confidence. These predictions are given across 300+ combinations of variables (geography, store type and retailer type) to allow detailed strategic planning.

The tool uses powerful data science techniques, applied to 200+ data series. It evolves as the market develops – setting it apart from prevalent ‘static’ industry forecasts – and users can model different economic “what if” scenarios in real-time.

Our unique approach meant the tool took 10 weeks to develop and has a mean absolute accuracy of >90%.

The tool is now an integrated part of Landsec’s strategy setting, delivering a sustainable competitive advantage. These insights are informing an ambitious new strategy to “Reimagine Retail”.

“We needed a bold new strategy that would give us a competitive edge in a fast-changing and challenging retail environment. I knew that Arca Blanca’s combined strategy and data science expertise would elevate and accelerate our thinking.

I was delighted at how quickly they worked with our Strategy Team to deliver a powerful bespoke decision-support tool that is unlike anything else in the industry. This has given us proprietary, data-led insights that have become a core part of our transformative strategy to reimagine the future of retail.”

—       Mark Allan, CEO

“Landsec has an ambition to become a leading adopter of data science – gaining a competitive advantage by better adapting to a rapidly changing world for example by anticipating customer needs or market movements.

Arca Blanca is helping us to leap-frog traditional industry research and generate accurate insights, tailored to our needs, based on proprietary data. We now have a powerful bespoke tool at our fingertips that will allow us to develop strategic thinking faster, with a clear focus on what matters.”

—       Nick de Mestre, Managing Director, Strategy, Research and Innovation

View the Arca Blanca profile in the MCA Members Directory.