The Toy Store Lands Global Flagship Store on Oxford Street
The Toy Store is to become the latest international name to enter the UK market, announcing that it has acquired a global flagship store in London’s Oxford Street, the retailer now plans to open further stores in key locations across the UK over the next three years.
The brand, part of RM Retail, has been trading for over ten years across the Middle East, with 11 standalone stores in the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. Having grown rapidly over the past two years, the business is now expanding globally, starting with London. To assist in the integration, the group has hired MMX Retail to guide UK store roll-out.
Mark Handley, Group Commercial Director for The Toy Store, said: “Oxford Street has been a two-year project to secure the perfect location for our global flagship store. London’s Oxford Street is the first landmark of our international expansion and we continue to look for iconic locations in the major cities around the world. We believe that The Toy Store brings fun back into the retail market and we are very pleased to have secured Oxford Street.”
Friars Walk, Newport, Correction
An incorrect and misrepresentative image of the Friars Walk development, Newport, was published in the October issue of RLI, and the developer incorrectly credited. RLI apologises for this error and for any confusion this may have caused.
Friars Walk is being developed by Queensberry Real Estate; construction is well underway and will include more than 390,000sq ft of modern, well-configured retail and leisure space, including a full offer Debenhams department store, a Cineworld multiplex cinema, and a wide range of shops and restaurants, all supported by a new modern 350-space car park and bus station.
The development, situated in the heart of Newport City Centre, is scheduled to open in Autumn 2015. On completion, the scheme will provide an estimated 1,200 jobs worth around £15M in salaries a year to the local economy.
Shopping Centre Property Swap
TIAA Henderson Real Estate (TH Real Estate), on behalf of its UK Shopping Centre Fund, and Land Securities Group Plc (Land Securities), have exchanged contracts to sell their respective interests in Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow, and Princesshay Shopping Centre in Exeter, to each other.
Land Securities will sell its 50 per cent stake in Princesshay Shopping Centre and surrounding properties in Exeter to TH Real Estate, for £127.9M, and simultaneously buy TH Real Estate’s 50 per cent stake in Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow for £137.5M.
TH Real Estate’s purchase of the 50 per cent stake in Princesshay Shopping Centre sees the business enter into a new strategic partnership with The Crown Estate, which already owns 50 per cent of the asset. The Crown Estate will take responsibility for the asset management.
John Lewis Opens First Shop in a Railway Station
John Lewis has opened its first-ever railway station shop at St Pancras International. This new format for John Lewis will provide customers with a new and convenient way to shop at this key transport hub.
The 3,000sq ft shop offers an edited selection of electronics, gifts, beauty, home and fashion accessories. Customers can also take advantage of the retailer’s click-and-collect service, ordering products from johnlewis.com for next-day collection during their daily commute.
Maggie Porteous, Director of Selling, commented on the opening, saying: “Our customers show us that they want different ways to shop that are most convenient for them. John Lewis St Pancras is our latest shop format innovation to meet our customers evolving needs, serving the station’s travellers.”
Victoria Beckham Opens First Store on Dover Street
Victoria Beckham has opened her first store on Dover Street in London, six years after the brand first launched.
The carefully designed 6,000sq ft space is more akin to an art gallery than a shop. Spread over three floors, the store is dominated by dark-mirrored walls and an imposing polished concrete staircase with clothes hanging from chains on the ceiling or a jagged rail.
The shop is the culmination of over two years of work. Architect Farshid Moussavi, whose modern, angular aesthetic reflects the same qualities as Beckham’s fashion line, has carefully considered every detail of the shop. The diagonal grid ceiling of the second floor alone took seven builders seven days a week, for nine weeks, to complete. There are no tills to interfere with the sparse design - all purchases are made through iPads - and there is no mannequin display in the window.
According to an assistant, the most popular items included a black-and-white tunic dress, priced at £2,250, a white shift dress with an ornate feathered hem, priced at £2,100 and a white ‘micro twill’ coat with a gold chain which sells for £2,750, which are all part of Beckham’s autumn/winter ready-to-wear collection. The ‘iconically Victoria’ mirrored aviator sunglasses, exclusive to the shop, were also described as a bestseller.
Victoria skipped the official opening to speak to the UN General Assembly in New York, though husband David was one of the first through the door.