Central Belfast sites aquired by local investor8th December 2023
Local investment company Alterity Investments has expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of three prominent retail and office sites in Belfast city centre. The company has purchased the Mayfair Building, Arthur Chambers, and State Buildings, which collectively boast a prime location and are home to a collection of well-known retail brands. The Mayfair Building boasts seven retail units and 22,234 square feet of vacant upper-floor accommodation, while Arthur Chambers features three retail units and 4,352 square feet of upper-floor space. State Buildings presents two retail units and 12,558 square feet of upper-floor grade A offices. The acquisition further strengthens Alterity’s commitment to Belfast’s city center revitalization efforts. The company has outlined plans to renovate the upper floors of the State Buildings and Arthur Chambers, enhancing the property’s appeal and contributing to the city’s overall retail and leisure offerings. “This acquisition is a strategic move that aligns perfectly with Alterity’s existing holdings in Belfast and underscores our dedication to the city center,” remarked Richard Faloon, Commercial Director of Alterity Investments. “We were drawn to both the prime location and the impressive tenant roster, which features brands that are not currently part of our portfolio elsewhere in the UK.” Alterity’s overall investment […]
Norwich shopping centre to welcome first Korean supermarket8th December 2023
Castle Quarter is set to become home to the city’s first dedicated Korean supermarket. Itaewon, a popular Korean supermarket chain, has signed a ten-year lease for unit 12 at the scheme, bringing an array of Korean flavors to the city. The arrival of Itaewon follows the recent addition of two other food retailers to Castle Quarter: vegan butcher Vishcakes & Vibs and candy store Candy Galore. These new openings further expand the scheme’s diverse grocery options, catering to a wide range of shoppers. Castle Quarter has undergone a transformation in recent years, shifting its focus from traditional retail to social, leisure, and lifestyle experiences. Notable additions include Boom Battle Bar, Putt Putt Noodle, Escape Hunt, and Castle Social, a market hall-style street food concept. Hank’s Dirty has also expanded its presence within the scheme, while Vue Cinema is planning a major refurbishment in 2024. These changes have been accompanied by a surge in footfall and sales. Visitor numbers for the year to date are 10.7% higher than in 2022, while turnover is up 22.4%. Average dwell time has also increased, and trading hours have been extended, reflecting the growing appeal of Castle Quarter as a destination for social and leisure...
Major UK gym and restaurant groups heading to The Galleries, Washington6th December 2023
Two award-winning and growing national brands, Loungers, the café restaurant, and gym operator Pure Gym are to open branches at The Galleries Shopping Centre, Washington. The leading operators have each agreed 15-year leases with the shopping centre and will be moving into the Marketplace, which will close on Sunday, January 28. Simon Eatough, director for landlord and tenant at LCP, part of M Core, which owns and manages the shopping centre, said: “Attracting two significant national brands to The Galleries is a major coup and will help with our plans to further improve the popular centre and we are looking forward to the opening.” “Across our entire retail portfolio up and down the country, we are always looking at ways we can enhance the experience for regular shoppers and occasional visitors, and we are confident that Loungers and Pure Gym at The Galleries will be a boost for the town and complement our existing mix of high-quality national and independent tenants.” Pure Gym is taking over 10,812 sq ft of space, while Loungers has signed up for 3,919 sq ft whilst talks with JD to upsize their presence in the Centre are also in the final stages of negotiations. Work to transform the units is expected to start in […]
The Cotswold Company opens in Bath as part of growth strategy6th December 2023
The Cotswold Company has opened a new store in Bath, as it continues the expansion of its omnichannel offering. Spanning 4,000 sq ft, the furniture retailer’s Bath store is located in a historic Georgian building on Northgate Street. Ralph Tucker, chief executive of the Cotswold Company, said: “We’re delighted to announce the launch of our ninth store, located in Bath, as we continue to support our digital-led model with welcoming, differentiated retail stores that enable our customers to truly experience our brand. “This Bath store is exceptionally exciting, as we have had lots of requests from customers to bring a store to the city. I am delighted we have been able to secure such a fantastic location in an iconic British city so close to our authentic Cotswold heritage. “We are confident that our model of opening carefully curated stores in strategically important locations, supported by locally relevant digital marketing initiatives, and high-quality service – both in-store and via our white glove delivery service – sets us apart as we continue to carefully expand and grow our brand.” The True Global-backed retailer is set to open its tenth store in early 2024.
Merry Hill welcomes Ask Italian and Sides5th December 2023
Restaurant chain Ask Italian and YouTuber-led fast food concept Sides have opened at Merry Hill Shopping Centre in Dudley. Opening a 3,350 sq ft restaurant, Ask Italian at Merry Hill features the chain’s refreshed concept, providing space for 140 diners and offering Italian-inspired dishes. Meanwhile, Sides has taken a 2,960 sq ft space accommodating 100 covers. The restaurant is the second standalone site for the concept, which is led by YouTube group The Sidemen. The group – which is headed up by the likes of YouTubers KSI, Miniminter, and Zerkaa – launched Sides in 2021. The concept has since garnered somewhat of a cult following and has seen success across various spaces in London. Jack Gordon, senior asset manager at Sovereign Centros, said: “The openings of both ASK Italian and Sides, two different but equally popular brands, marks another significant step in providing Merry Hill’s visitors with an increasingly diverse range of culinary options. These new additions are further evidence that we are committed to delivering our long-term strategy for the centre, curating a fulfilling, varied, and best-in-class experience for our community.” The arrivals of Ask Italian and Sides at Merry Hill follow a number of recent food and beverage […]
Oxygen rebrands with new concept as it seeks new sites5th December 2023
Oxygen Activeplay is set to launch its new concept at a retail park in York as the brand seeks new sites nationwide. The leisure operator – formerly just ‘Oxygen’ – will open the 20,000 sq ft flagship at Clifton Moor Centre Retail Park in February 2024. Oxygen York, which is the first site designed under the brand’s new Activeplay Concept, will open following an investment of £2.3m. Comprising ground floor and mezzanine spaces, the centre will feature parkour zones, inflatable obstacle courses, climbing challenges, party rooms, and a sensory baby and toddler park. Parents and families will also be able to make use of a quiet lounge and a food and beverage offering. The York opening comes as part of a £10m investment programme implemented by Oxygen Activeplay over the last two years into its parks, staff, technology, and infrastructure. This investment has included a £1.2m revamp of Oxygen Croydon – which reopened in April – as well as refurbishments in Acton, Wilmslow, and Rayleigh. The brand is currently looking to roll out the Activeplay concept to more locations around the country, with leisure leasing agency Stärka instructed to secure new sites. Stephen Wilson, managing director at Oxygen Activeplay, said:...
Lounge makes Liverpool debut with pop-up store5th December 2023
Lounge has made its debut in Liverpool, opening a Christmas pop-up store at South John Street in Liverpool ONE. Remaining open until 23 December, the underwear brand’s 4,000 sq ft store will offer its range of bestselling lingerie, loungewear, and nightwear. Lounge made its first venture into permanent bricks-and-mortar retail earlier this year after a series of successful pop-ups. The retailer is targeting a further seven sites over the next 12 months. Rob Deacon, asset management director at Grosvenor, said: “We are delighted to have welcomed Lounge’s highly anticipated city debut pop-up, marking yet another fan-favourite to select Liverpool ONE as the destination of choice for pioneering, first-rate retailers. The rapidly expanding brand aligns very well with our demographic here at Liverpool ONE and it was great to see our visitors enthusiastically interact with the pop-up over the launch weekend.” Mel Marsden, founder of Lounge, added: “As Lounge continues to expand into physical retail, we have been seeking locations that not only have high footfall numbers, but also align with our dedication to providing the ultimate customer experience, and Liverpool ONE’s core visitor-centred values and loyal consumer base made it the ideal home.” The opening follows the recent arrival of […]
Superdrug opens one of its biggest London stores4th December 2023
Superdrug has opened one of its biggest stores within the M25 at Hammerson’s Brent Cross Shopping Centre in North West London. Opening within a 6,000 sq ft unit on the scheme’s lower level, Superdrug’s new store features a fragrance counter and a beauty studio. This new larger, “best-in-class” store concept is the retailer’s third of its kind, following openings at the Manchester’s Trafford Centre and Dublin Dundrum earlier this year. In April, Superdrug revealed its plans to invest in 25 “bigger and better” stores. Nigel Duxbury, property director at Superdrug, said: “The new opening allows us to continue growing the presence of Superdrug in London and demonstrates our continued investment into providing our customers with the best in-store experiences.” Chris Barnes, general manager at Brent Cross, added: “With our busiest period fast approaching Superdrug is just the type of brand which will resonate with our customers, particularly those wanting to treat themselves to health and beauty products or purchase gifts for family and friends.”
LCP and Evolve Estates acquire The Centre Livingston4th December 2023
Commercial property investment companies LCP and Evolve Estates – both part of M Core – have jointly acquired The Centre in Livingston, their largest retail centre yet. The scheme – which is located in the centre of the Scottish town – was acquired for an undisclosed sum from Hines. Spanning one million sq ft, The Centre Livingston comprises 166 shops, restaurants, cafés, and leisure amenities. Anchor tenants at the scheme include Asda, River Island, H&M, Primark, and M&S. The scheme is located nearby to three car parks, with a total of 3,000 spaces. Danny O’Keefe, founding partner of Evolve, said: “For the past few years, we have focused on building our retail portfolio, acquiring convenience-led shopping parades, centres and retail parks across the UK, which we believe to be undervalued and offer long-term rental growth. “The Centre Livingston is our most ambitious retail acquisition yet in the UK and we are excited about the possibilities for improving it, which our proactive in-house team of experienced asset and property managers will be looking at now. “They have a significant network of contacts across many national brands and they are already looking to attract big names as well as ambitious local traders who want […]
French Connection joins Manchester Arndale fashion line up1st December 2023
French Connection is set to open at Manchester Arndale, joining a growing fashion offering at the scheme. The retailer has agreed a five-year lease for a 2,189 sq ft unit, and will offer a range of clothing, accessories, and footwear for both men and women. The signing of French Connection at Manchester Arndale follows a flurry of lettings to fashion brands at the scheme. Names such as Dune, The North Face, Nike, Moss, and Sunglasses Hut have all recently joined the scheme, whilst Oseyo and Tortilla have bolstered the centre’s food and beverage offering. The Manchester scheme also recently announced a significant upsize from River Island, as well as lease renewals from The Watch Lab, Thomas Sabo, and Claire’s. Steve Gray, head of European retail asset management at Global Mutual, said: “We’re delighted to welcome French Connection to Manchester Arndale as we continue to attract top tier brands that cater to Manchester’s stylish clientele. With the centre now over 95% let, and brands like River Island and Thomas Sabo committing their future to the centre, we are confident in our ability to consistently deliver a premier retail experience.” M&G Real Estate and Global Mutual act as joint asset managers of...
Seven Dials welcomes flurry of new brands1st December 2023
Shaftesbury Capital has welcomed five new brands to the Seven Dials shopping destination in London’s Covent Garden. Making their bricks-and mortar debuts are independent British womenswear brand Odd Muse and jewellery brand Missoma, which have opened flagship stores at 44 and 46 Monmouth Street respectively. Missoma’s permanent Seven Dials store follows a successful pop-up at Covent Garden’s Market Building earlier in the year. Also joining Monmouth Street is gourmet liquorice brand LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW, which has opened a new store offering handcrafted confectionary and gifts. Opening on Seven Dials’ Neal Street in the coming weeks is French men’s skincare brand Horace, which will make its UK debut at No.29. Meanwhile, British shoemaker Loake will be opening a store early in the new year at No. 62. The two brands join a number of established brands on Neal Street, including Space NK, Birkenstock, and jewellery brand Astrid & Miyu. Michelle McGrath, executive director, Shaftesbury Capital, said: “Our Seven Dials neighbourhood continues to evolve into a hotspot for innovative concepts, independent stores, international flagships and the best of British, with the latest arrivals of Odd Muse, Missoma, Lakrids, Horace and Loake being testament to this. “It is a huge vote of confidence […]
The Range lines up three new openings this week30th November 2023
The Range is set to open three new stores across the UK this week as it prepares for the festive period. The discount retailer – which recently acquired the rights to collapsed brand Wilko – will open stores in Cwmbran, Leamington Spa, and Chelmsford. The 30,620 sq ft store at Cwmbran Shopping Centre – which The Range has signed a 15-year lease for – was formerly home to Wilko. In Leamington Spa, The Range will occupy two combined units formerly occupied by Argos and Outfit at Leamington Shopping Park. The Range’s Chelmsford will occupy a former Debenham’s and becomes the retailer’s sixth store in Essex. The three new stores will offer products from Wilko’s product range. Wilko itself is set to make its return to physical retail, with The Range recently announcing plans to open five standalone stores before Christmas.