Case study
Capital & Regional The Marlowes Setting




Managed Service



Key Contact


Operations Director

Key stats

  • Crèches users ATV 33% higher than the centre’s average  
  • Creche users dwell time 30% higher than that of other centre visitors 
  • 77% of registered families used the service within the first 4 months

Capital and Regional are a UK specialist Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) with a strong track record of delivering value-enhancing retail and leisure asset management opportunities across a portfolio of mainly in-town community shopping centres.

We were approached by Capital and Regional in early 2018 to look at providing a crèche facility for the local community at The Marlowes, their shopping centre in Hemel Hempstead. Their goal was to make the centre a destination for families, allowing them to engage in activities with or without their children, thereby increasing the visitor dwell time and occupancy. Their vision included providing exceptional changing and feeding facilities, a children's play area (so that parents could relax and enjoy the centre’s great food and coffee) and a crèche facility enabling parents to leave their children while they shopped, socialised or used the various wellness facilities.

We were awarded the contract to provide crèche services at The Marlowes in mid-2018. The facility was to be available for children aged 2 to 12 years and free of charge to the parents when they spent £1 in the centre.

From concept & design

  • Identified a suitable unit in the heart of the centre
  • Advised on the design & re-build of the unit to convert it into a creche
  • Worked alongside the design team on the space, design and interior
  • Provided a full IT infrastructure specification
  • Attended weekly reviews on the project plan, build and specification
  • Wrote the equipment specification then sourced products and managed deliveries 
  • Designed a registration and booking system
  • Integrated the booking system with our website
  • Recorded receipts to generate analytical data on location and spend
  • Completed a full pre-launch risk assessment
  • Passed all pre-opening checks with the relevant authorities

To mobilisation & launch

  • Worked with the shopping centre marketing team on a large awareness campaign that included local radio & press, social media channels, bus adverts, local family publications and internal and external posters
  • Recruited the care team and conducted all background & recruitment checks
  • Ran a full induction and training programme for the team
  • Oversaw the full operational set up, including the installation of all IT equipment including interactive Smartboards, activity game projectors and CCTV
  • Held open days for the local community to experience the crèche


  • Fully managing the day-to-day operation
  • Running outreach events to raise awareness of the crèche
  • Linking with retailers, running promotions and creating awareness
  • Producing weekly reports demonstrating our progress against agreed KPIs
  • Partnering with a local gym to promote the crèche to its members
  • Offering additional classes for children, with a focus on music & movement

Key stats

  • A crèche user’s average transactional spend (ATV) was 33% higher than the ATV of other centre users
  • The average dwell time of a crèche user was 30% higher that an average centre visitor
  • 77% of registered users visited the crèche in the first 4 months of opening

"We are delighted to have Tinies open here at the Marlowes in Hemel Hempstead, in with CNR. This is an extension to our family zone and player area which will be expanding through the shopping centre. It is a place where families can drop their kids, to play for two to three hours giving them time to shop. Hopefully, this would be something that all families in the community can enjoy."

"I need to acknowledge and truly thank you for the unbelievable service you provide. Not only the setup of an almost free crèche, but also how amazing you make this for mothers like me. Your service means a busy mother of 2 gets to enjoy a hot drink, a phone call to a loved one, enjoying some fresh air and time to shop, a workout in the gym the list is endless. Not only does your service provide all this but the staff are second to none. I am met with politeness, smiles and a safe place for my son who adores coming again and again The crèche allows me to shop, meet a friend for coffee and I have now also joined the gym! I used to only come to town when I had to, as taking my little one around the shops is no joy, but now I am a regular user of the crèche as the team are excellent, friendly, and my little one loves it. I am so lucky to live close by and to have this facility within the town centre. Sadly, due to the pandemic this did not have the opportunity to develop, however we, and Capital and Regional saw great results, had amazing feedback and would, at another time do this again."


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