New place management unit launched

Market Students 950 X 400

IPM is pleased to announce the launch of a new unit in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University for second year undergraduates studying retailing. The unit is designed to help students develop key employability skills in the areas of place management, marketing and retail. It started at the end of September, with a cohort of 12 students, who will soon be working on live consultancy projects.

All students have joined the IPM as student members and their teaching schedule includes support and guest lectures from a variety of IPM members – who are all retail and placemaking experts - such as Graham Hoyle from Retail Performance Improvement, Jeremy Rucker from City Dressing and Diane Wehrle from footfall data specialists Springboard.

The unit’s first assessment requires students to present ‘3 things retailers need to know’ from the perspective of students as customers. The cohort has split into three teams – each one focusing on a different area of Manchester City Centre -  Fallowfield, The Printworks and Albert Square. The students have been applying key concepts such as the Power of Ten, 25 factors that influence high street vitality/viability and other placemaking/retail theories and frameworks.  Their learning will culminate with a presentation of their key findings to industry professionals, BIDs and retailers on Monday 4th December in Manchester at 2pm. If you are interested in attending this event please contact

After Christmas, the students will be working on the joint Manchester City Council and IPM research project ‘Vital and Viable Neighbourhood Centres’. This will require the students to undertake site visits and complete vitality and viability audits in four district centres, as well as meeting retailers and giving recomendations to local politicians though Manchester City Council's District Centre Sub-Commitee.

Professor Cathy Parker commented, "It's great to have launched Retail Life with the Department of Marketing, Retail and Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University. These students will really benefit from IPM's wealth of knowledge in place management and we have helped design the unit to develop a cohort of early career professionals for the sector.”

The unit also has its own Twitter handle - @MMURetailLife and the unit's lecturer is Tanya Hemphill - an experienced marketing professional-turned-academic.

If you are interested in contributing your knowledge and experience as a guest lecturer, or if you have potential projects future Retail Life students can work on, please get in touch by emailing 


The picture shows a cohort of Manchester Metropolitan University on a study trip to London. Credit : D Leaver.