SAS Chairman’s Statement

THE SHOP Agents' Society, the organisation which brings together the UK's top retail and leisure dealmakers, looks set to build on its growing profile with a series of events which bring the industry together.

The SAS represents retail and leisure property agents and consultants from all over the country, its members acting for some of the biggest brands on the high street, and major shopping centre management and investment businesses.

It has been led for the past two years by its current Chairman, Ben Tebbutt, a director of the leading Midlands property consultancy FHP, and he says the SAS provides a vital focal point for the industry at a time when it continues to be affected by transformational change.

"Retail and leisure provides the heartbeat of so many towns and cities all over the UK, and the SAS represents the people who have their finger on its pulse," he said.

"The transformational change we have seen on the high street means that it is also an increasingly dynamic industry that has the expertise and imagination to show the way ahead. Over the past few years we've seen consumers hit by recession and high streets impacted by internet shopping. Yet the industry seems more vital than ever.

"Low oil prices mean consumer spending is likely to keep heading in a positive direction, and provided the industry continues to invest in providing the kind of retail and leisure experience people are looking for there's every reason for us to stay positive too."

The SAS supports the industry by sharing professional knowledge and building relationships. It also assists with continuing professional development and holds regular get-togethers.

Organised by events and membership coordinator Louise Oliver, of SR Events, they include First Friday drinks meetings, golf days, APC seminars and an annual conference. The SAS's flagship event is its black tie Christmas dinner, routinely attended by hundreds of influential people from across the industry. Not only is this a significant sponsorship opportunity, it also raises large sums of money for charity.

"2016 is already shaping up to be another vibrant year in retail and leisure, and our members tell us that they have never been busier," said Ben. "We've got a great calendar of events in the months to come and if retail and leisure property agents want to meet like minds, talk shop and have a great time the SAS is the organisation that can make that happen."

Ben Tebbutt

Follow the SAS on Twitter @ShopAgents to keep up to date on events and market news.