Inge Johnson 2
The Gates

Member Article

Bdaily talks to Inge Johnson of The Gates

Bdaily caught up with Inge Johnson, centre manager at The Gates, Durham City centre shopping mall.

What is your career history to date?

I have worked in commercial property management for almost 10 years, overseeing a variety of properties including industrial, residential, office buildings and retail schemes. I spent two years studying for my diploma in Shopping Centre Management, and successfully passed this in 2009.

What is your current job title and what does the role entail?

I’m centre manager at The Gates. My role involves overseeing the day-to-day running, marketing and maintenance of the centre as well as being involved in various different community focused forums and business groups.

What is the big story for your business in 2012?

The centre is continuing to see a positive level of interest, and letting enquiries are encouraging. The Gates has a good mix of high street retailers and with our strong focus on independent operators this ensures that The Gates has a point of difference over other high street offerings. We will continue to support local entrepreneurs by offering them workable space for their business needs.

Footfall figures have also been great for us this year; we’re delighted to see more people coming through the door and this increase shows signs that 2012 is going to be a positive year for retail.

What has been your biggest business challenge to date?

The current retail climate has unfortunately seen many larger operators disappear from the high street. The advice from Mary Portas is to focus on local community, local traders and make the city centre the hub of our society. So to develop this further, we want to show local small retailers that moving into a shopping centre doesn’t have to be a momentous step and that we are here to help.

What do you believe will be the biggest challenge and opportunity facing your sector in the next twelve months?

The biggest challenge is to continue to come up with inventive and different ways to increase footfall through the shopping centre, whilst attracting new retailers to our modern, city centre retail destination. An opportunity for us is the prospect of being able to diversify by developing new revenue streams that will help to draw in new customers. For example, we recently gave an empty retail unit to a community art project to utilise and also offered Durham office workers season tickets for our car park, which is the largest indoor car
park in the city.

What has been your proudest professional moment to date?

My greatest achievement is getting where I am today. There is no greater sense of achievement than seeing your hard work pay off and having worked my way through the ranks to where I am today makes me very proud.

Who or what has inspired you most in the course of your career?

As I’m extremely passionate about my job I try to learn from peers and colleagues and take inspiration from this. There is a wealth of knowledge out there from those who work in a similar role to me. It’s fantastic to be able to have contact with people in similar roles throughout the country and I believe it’s important to seek out knowledge by those who inspire us, in order to further develop ourselves.

Outside of the workplace, what is your main passion?

In my spare time, I love to maintain vintage cars. I adore vintage cars and whenever I have time on my hands I can almost always be found tinkering with them and looking after their general upkeep and maintenance. I am also very sociable and energetic and love being outdoors, so in my spare time I can also be found gardening, growing my own herbs or hosting a BBQ.

If you weren’t in your current position what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t centre manager at The Gates then I’d be an architect. When I was growing up I was in awe looking up at tall columns or expertly crafted ceilings and architraves. As I now work in commercial property management I am not too far from what I imagined!

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by The Gates .

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular North East morning email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read