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In Depth: Liverpool ONE celebrates 15 years

Sophie Smith
05 May 2023

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Liverpool ONE. Since its opening in 2008, the destination has become a retail and leisure hotspot for locals and tourists alike. This is thanks to the teams at Liverpool ONE and its owner Grosvenor, who have worked hard to create a seamless customer experience across the whole destination. has taken an in-depth look at Liverpool ONE, with exclusive commentary from Rob Deacon, Senior Asset Manager at Grosvenor and Iain Finlayson, Estate Director at Liverpool ONE.

Located in Liverpool City Centre, Liverpool ONE is a 1.65 million sq ft open-air retail and leisure complex that offers over 170 stores, bars and restaurants, a 14-screen cinema and five-acre park.

Since the beginning of 2023, Liverpool ONE has seen a 6.5% increase in footfall, and has forecasted an uplift of around 25% in the run up to summer as the city prepares for the Eurovision Song Contest.

From a retail perspective, the destination has three main districts - South John Street, Paradise Street and Peter's Lane.

  • Spread across two floors, South John Street is home to a range of high street favourites, such as New Look, The Body Shop and Superdrug.
  • Paradise Street offers a variety of fashion, jewellery, and beauty businesses, including Urban Outfitters, Charlotte Tilbury and Goldsmiths.
  • Peter's Lane features a selection of designer and lifestyle brands, such as BOSS, Jo Malone London, and the UK's only Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar - creating an area for shoppers to "truly indulge in luxury".

Footfall over Easter at Centre:MK

Whilst the average shopper may overlook the layout of Liverpool ONE, the team behind the scenes have worked hard to create a seamless retail and leisure experience across the whole destination - it's no coincidence that certain brands or categories are located near each other. "Over the years, we've tried to concentrate on the tenant mix in each specific location. Similar brands usually like to cluster together as they generally target the same customer," says Deacon, Senior Asset Manager at Grosvenor.

However, the businesses opening at Liverpool ONE are not restricted by the district concepts. "Businesses know where they're going to trade best. Russell & Bromley offers a good example of this. It might typically be considered as a Peter's Lane brand, where footfall is slightly lower, but the transaction value is higher because the brands there are more high-end. However, Russell & Bromley were looking for a higher footfall location in this instance, so it opened on South John Street," adds Deacon.

This partnership between Liverpool ONE and its tenants not only applies to location but also how each unit looks. "We always encourage brands to bring their best shop fit or new concept to us. Liverpool is often a flagship location for businesses, so they're willing to do this. We have a shop fit guide, which sets out our expectations and standards. Businesses will also liaise closely with our dedicated retail delivery team from day one. This helps us to elevate the entire offer at Liverpool ONE," explains Deacon.

Charlotte Tilbury x Liverpool ONE

Charlotte Tilbury at Liverpool ONE

A regular stream of new and exciting openings also challenges existing brands and retailers to stay on top of their game - something that benefits the whole destination. "Our tenants need to make sure they are keeping pace because consumers will always choose to shop where they're most attracted to. For example, the opening Charlotte Tilbury encouraged John Lewis to invest in its beauty areas," says Finlayson, Estate Director at Liverpool ONE.

For the businesses struggling in the busy retail environment, support is also available. "We collect sales information from all of our tenants and can see when they need a little help. We have a team that can intervene and help support our tenants effectively. This could be through things we do on site, such as events offering advice like 'how to dress a shop', or talking to the brands directly," says Deacon.

So, it's clear Liverpool ONE champions a collaborative approach. This also extends to how the destination manages initiatives such as sustainability and events.

Having appointed its first ESG Manager last year, the team at Liverpool ONE considers sustainability a "key focus". They work with the community and tenants to encourage responsible behaviour across three pillars: Waste, Green Spaces, and Energy & Transport. These include targets such as producing onsite renewable energy, facilitating green travel options into Liverpool ONE, and encouraging the reduction of waste generated by occupiers and visitors. "We're working with our tenants to find out what their sustainability credentials are and how we can help them. We want to make this as collaborative as possible," says Finlayson.

Liverpool ONE also works with the local community and its tenants to host a variety of activations for both local and national events - helping to elevate the overall offer at the destination. Over the years, Liverpool ONE has implemented initiatives such as student night, which last year saw over half of the destination's brands and F&B operators participate.

Liverpool ONE

Eurovision flags on display at Liverpool ONE

Most recently, the complex has been gearing up for the Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place from 9 to 13 May 2023 at the Liverpool Arena.

Located a short distance from the arena, Liverpool ONE is expecting to benefit from the influx of visitors to the city during the contest. "We are in the perfect location. People will eat here, drink here and shop here. We are right on the doorstep of various hotels and transportation links too. So, it's been a massive focus for us. There are nine shows, so we're looking at a sold-out arena nine times! There is going to be a huge amount of people that work at it, star in it and watch it. So, it's really about showcasing the city - it's the best exposure you could ever have," says Finlayson.

To mark the occasion, the complex is hosting a number of celebratory events around music, art and community. The tourist information centre at Liverpool ONE will also become the central hub for all things Eurovision, including information about the whole city region.

Amongst a number of celebrations, Liverpool ONE has fitted a variety of floral displays and giant flags from each competing country across the open-air complex. Eurovision hits will also be streamed from speakers across Paradise Street, with staged performances planned in partnership with LIPA and Liverpool City College at Liverpool ONE's Chavasse Park.

It's been a busy 15 years for Liverpool ONE as the destination continues its mission to provide consumers with an elevated retail, leisure, and F&B experience. “We leverage the strengths Liverpool has as a city. The tourist economy is huge for us. There are so many reasons for people to come to Liverpool – football, maritime, The Beatles, and now Eurovision. So, it’s our job to entice visitors to Liverpool ONE when they come,” emphasises Deacon.

With a variety of new openings in the pipeline for 2023, both Deacon and Finlayson believe the future looks positive for Liverpool ONE - and it leaves us wondering what the next 15 years has in store.

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