Initially, when it was founded in 2002, Limited Space was created to sell brands’ advertising opportunities in car parks; lifts and posters, making the best use of unused ambient space.
However, the early noughties also saw a shift in how consumers were using shopping mall space and how they were being built, changing from predominantly retail locations to leisure destinations where people met to not only shop, but to enjoy the entertainment and dining facilities.
We undertook significant research and identified there was real potential for brands to communicate with shoppers in the very place where most of them make purchase decisions – the malls themselves.
Limited Space was established in car parks and was proving to be a moderate success, but developing our lift format in the mall environment provided a much broader audience for our clients. So in 2006, we pursued the opportunity to move into shopping centres, leaving the car park offering behind.
Following the change of direction, we began to rapidly expand into a network of what is now 85 malls nationwide, delivering an advertising audience of over fifty million shoppers every two weeks. We have expanded the service offering with panoramic banner platforms and an expanding network of digital screens with interactive capabilities.
In terms of financials, since the decision to shift direction, Limited Space has gained market share every year since entering malls. During its 2009/2010 fiscal year, revenue grew by 14 per cent in stark contrast to the overall outdoor advertising industry which shrunk by 10 per cent during the same period. Our growth has remained strong and positive even through the recession.
I never regret the decision to fundamentally change our business. We could easily have run both offerings simultaneously, but ultimately our decision hinged on exercising smart business, not hard business.
Our initial offering wasn’t wrong, we learnt so much from starting our business from scratch and experiencing all the problems that come with being a start-up. It meant we were able to present ourselves with the shopping mall offering as a more established, successful business to some of the biggest landowners in the UK and globally.
However, the opportunity to capitalise on changing consumer trends and develop some incredible products which really change the face of shopping centres, has proven to be an exciting journey for the company as well as a successful one.