With the reopening of non-essential retail paired with the wonderful summer sun; last week marked a significant rebound for Peterborough One Retail Park!

Having purchased the site in 2017 – we immediately embarked on an ambitious relaunch; rebranding the formerly named; “Peterborough Garden Park” to the punchier “PE1”. Using our dynamic approach to asset management that has driven much success to The Pantiles; we introduced a comprehensive activity and events program – employing technology to increase footfall. 

Since our acquisition of the park; we have seen great success – and although the pandemic has presented several logistical problems for the retail sector as a whole; the easement of the lockdown has reinstated optimism for the months ahead. With 20 years of experience within the field of asset management and property development; we have summoned our expertise to help traders readjust to the ‘new-normal’ – helping business flourish. 

Food Festival

In the lead-up to the resumption of non-essential retail; Peterborough One Retail Park hosted a magnificent ‘Drive Through Food Festival’. This event featured a plethora of cuisines; from pasta, noodles, hog roast, burgers, burritos, afternoon tea, milkshakes, make-at-home cocktail kits, ice cream, crepes – even a bar, selling a variety of alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages! 

In coherence with social distancing rules – the festival was structured as a drive-through; our car park was marked out for people to drive in and stop, whilst a member of staff took customer orders. Food was subsequently brought to each car – or if it was a larger order, nearby waiting bays were established. 

Held on Saturday the 13th to Sunday the 14th of June; the event was a huge success with more than 600 cars visiting the retail park. Organiser, Adam Coulton described the event as being “absolutely brilliant” and “very well received”. He added; “the people of Peterborough did us proud and we met some lovely people – Id love to come back and see them all again.”

“I would love to work with PE1 again – I cannot praise them enough, they have been superb” 

– Adam Coulton, concert promoter and events organiser

Shops reopened

On the Monday after the bustling food festival; many of PE1’s shops reopened. While Pets Corner and Maidenhead Aquatics were deemed ‘essential services’, and were allowed to remain open during the lockdown – Pavers, Just4Sofas, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and The Works were finally able to re-establish themselves at the park, with Van Hage introducing a click and collect service. Steadman & Co also announced that they are set to to resume their high quality hairdressing service early next month. 

Retail resurgent

This retail renaissance has not been exclusive to PE1. Studies have revealed that many high streets and shopping centres in England have seen a large uptick in shoppers, with both up 51 percent during the week when compared with a week earlier. The UK’s rebound compared favourably to other European countries, suggesting that safety measures introduced by retailers have been well received by their customers.

“The opening of non-essential retail in England on Monday June 15 had a substantial impact on footfall across all retail destinations” 

– Diane Wehrle, Springboard insights director

With yesterday’s government announcement of reduced social distancing and the reopening of the hospitalities sector (including pubs, hairdressers and hotels) – we can expect more consumer footfall. As Diane Wehrle predicts; “we anticipate an additional uplift to come when the hospitality and entertainment industry is given the green light to resume trading in the coming weeks.”


It has been fantastic to see so many customers return to support our tenants – a trend expected to amplify in the following weeks with the further relaxation of lockdown measures. At Targetfollow, we are incredibly proud of the hard work PE1 employees have put in to ensure a safe and successful reopening. We would also like to to thank each visitor for so carefully adhering to the park’s COVID-19 social distancing/hygiene measures!