The main piece of news coming out of BCSC's opening day is the announcement that Land Securities' Trinity Leeds development will open on March 21st, 2013.
The scheme has been under development since July 2010, having re-started after a 2009 stall threw the project into jeopardy, and on that spring morning will become the first major retail scheme to debut in the UK since the grand opening of Westfield Stratford City on September 13th 2011. That's a staggering 18 months (555 days) during which no major retail schemes have opened in Britain. A starker summation of the consequences of the economic downturn you will not see.
Elsewhere over the two conference halls, focus has been on mixed-use town centre schemes (and the associated developer hunt), multi-channel retail, and of course, the Portas Review into the nation's high streets (of which more tomorrow).
The mood seems again to be one of cautious optimism that the market is resilient and adaptable enough to survive perhaps the most testing times retail has ever faced. March's planning reform has gained muted approval, but there remains a latent, yet palpable, cynicism that town centre retail's goose may have been cooked.
We await tomorrow's keynote speech from the flame-haired guru to give the doubters a reason to change their mind.