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CBRE envisages retail rebound and acquires UK firm CWM

CBRE is to acquire CWM, an independent retail and leisure property consultancy which advises more than 60 leading retail brands in the UK, including Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Pret A Manger and The Body Shop.

CWM’s managing partner Scott Murdoch will be appointed chairman of UK Retail at CBRE, working closely with Rhodri Davies, CBRE’s head of UK Retail.

London’s Covent Garden is on CWM’s client list [Image: David Sury/Unsplash]

The firm, founded in 1992 and whose clients also include major London estates such as Battersea Power Station, Covent Garden and Marylebone Village, also undertakes shopping centre and travel retail leasing work at Edinburgh St James, the O2, Borough Yards, Paddington Central, Broadgate, Waterloo and Kings Cross St Pancras. It also has specialist teams focused on restaurants, leisure, outlet and transport hubs.

CBRE said that the acquisition will significantly strengthen its retail and leisure real estate capabilities across the UK. The full CWM team will operate as part of CBRE’s UK retail business and will trade under the CBRE brand, operating from CBRE’s UK headquarters at Henrietta House.

“We are anticipating a significant rebound in retail market activity as the economy improves as well as the continued large scale repositioning of retail real estate as retailers adapt their offering to meet changing consumer demands,” said CBRE’s divisional president advisory services and CEO UK & Ireland Ciaran Bird.

“CWM has always been highly regarded as a leading retail advisor and combining their team alongside our established retail specialists will ensure we have a formidable market offering that can provide clients with the very best strategic consultancy advice,” he added.

Scott Murdoch commented, “we are already seeing a significant bricks-and-mortar bounce back in the retail and leisure market in the wake of the pandemic, and whilst the retail landscape has changed profoundly, it is now universally accepted that retail standalone store representation is an essential part of this multi-channel world we live in, and that it is likely this will always be the case. We want to be at the vanguard of this change.”