Chapman Taylor Unveils Bracknell Rejuvination Plan & New Retail Design
Chapman Taylor is to redevelop an existing 1970s shopping precinct in the heart of Bracknell, Berkshire, as part of the town’s £250M masterplan/regeneration project. The redevelopment by Bracknell Regeneration Partnership is part of a wider vision for regenerating the town centre and will accommodate 60,000sq m of new retail and leisure facilities, creating a contemporary shopping experience for the local community and bringing with it some big retail names.
There are two integrated elements to the scheme, the first being Charles Square, which will include a new anchor store and associated shopping units and public spaces; the second will be the Northern Retail Quarter, which involves delivering six new blocks. These new buildings will incorporate a Fenwick, Marks & Spencer as well as a Cineworld on the first floor.
Work has started onsite and the scheme is due to complete early 2017.
Intu Rolls Out 4G to 10 Centres
The rapid growth of omni-channel shopping demands the best connections. intu, a leading owner and manager of prime regional shopping centres in the UK, is maintaining its prime position at the forefront of digital connectivity with the roll-out of high quality 4G networks in partnership with Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) across ten of its shopping centres.
To support retailers’ emphasis and investment in bricks-and-clicks strategies, intu is providing the most digitally connected shopping centres ensuring customers have a seamless online and offline experience. That means shoppers can browse online and use intu’s apps within the shopping centres to make visits more productive. As a result, customers are visiting more often and staying for longer, benefiting all retailers and restaurateurs at the centres.
The 4G experience complements existing free WiFi in all intu centres.
Retailers Find Growth in UK
The latest BCSC/LDC vacancy monitor has found the number of shops in UK shopping centres trading as ‘multiples’ has increased in the last year, with the data showing a rise of 1.3 per cent in the number of ‘multiples’ and a corresponding 1.3 per cent drop in the number of independent shops.
This is part of an emerging trend whereby new international retailers - considered ‘independent’ here in the UK at the same time last year - have since successfully expanded to ‘become a ‘multiple’. Examples of new international retailers which have grown within the last twelve months from an independent in the UK to a multiple include food operator Five Guys, Pita Pit and Joe & The Juice and retailers such as Italian swimwear brand Calzedonia, Australian stationers Smiggle and Card Stop selling greeting cards and posters.
The areas with the largest decline in vacancy rates were the South East, with a 1.7 per cent drop, followed by the North West with a 1.3 per cent drop.
Seven Dials Adds British Brands to Shorts Gardens
The Cambridge Satchel Company has announced the launch of its first standalone men’s store at 15 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials. The brand, founded by Julie Deane OBE in 2008 with just £600, is to open the 1,000sq ft store on 8 June.
The brand’s first UK men’s store will focus on its classic satchels, backpacks, and trunks for the male consumer, including the new Autumn Winter 2015 men’s collection which launches on the same day. The store will feature a unique oak and leather interior and personalised embossing services will be available.
The new store will also join fellow successful British brand, Christys’ Hats, which recently opened at 9 Shorts Gardens.
Commenting on the new openings at Seven Dials, Sam Bain-Mollison, Head of Group Retail Strategy and Letting at Shaftesbury Plc, said: “The Cambridge Satchel Company’s concept joins the existing mix of high quality menswear brands in Seven Dials, such as Farah, Fred Perry and Carhartt, with Shorts Gardens featuring the UK’s only standalone Element store. Along with Christys’ Hats, both will add to a selection of brands offering authentic, trend-led fashion and unique lifestyle products.”
Luxury Maternity Label Arrives at Victoria Quarter
Hammerson has announced that the international luxury maternity brand, Séraphine will make its debut in Leeds when it opens its brand new store at Victoria Quarter shortly. Séraphine has signed up to take a 755sq ft store that will be situated next to Bravissimo on County Arcade in the Grade II* Listed Victorian building.
Already a firm favourite with The Duchess of Cambridge, Séraphine has been creating maternity wear and accessories for pre- and post-natal women since 2002. The brand’s stylish maternity collection includes everything from casual jeans to bridal wear as well as chic nursing wear for post-natal women.
Séraphine has seen its sales double over the past two years, boosted by the ‘Kate effect’ as well as other influential Hollywood stars such as Jessica Alba and Gwen Stefani. With three stores already in London, this new store is an integral part of the brand’s global expansion, joining its second store in New York and first in Los Angeles, both also due to open this year.
Kate Orwin, Assistant Director of Retail Asset Management at Hammerson, said: “As the North’s most luxurious shopping destination, Victoria Quarter is undoubtedly the right place for Séraphine to open its debut store in Leeds.
“Sitting alongside a line-up of international luxury retail brands, Séraphine is a welcome addition to the premium shopping offer and will be well placed to capture shoppers looking for luxury maternity wear to make a statement.”