Zara has unleashed its latest store concept at Westfield Stratford, revealing pioneering features designed to transform the customer experience and integrate online and in-store shopping. The store, which totals 4,500sq m, marks a significant milestone in parent company Inditex’s strategy of integrating its store and online platforms. This Zara store is the first in the world with a dedicated area for the purchase and collection of online orders, in addition to the usual sections for women’s, men’s and kids’ lines. This fourth section of the store features two automated online orders simultaneously, enabling shoppers to collect purchases made through Zara’s ecommerce platforms. The store has been designed to stand out as a unique shopping destination for Zara customers. It has a two-storey façade without shop windows on the first floor, providing a transparent view of the store’s interior architectural features and collections. The store also boasts smart systems that reduce emission and save energy, in keeping with Inditex’s eco-efficient store programme.


High street fashion chain Urban Outfitters is preparing to open its first store in Cheltenham, taking an 8,000sq ft unit in the newly extended retail arm of the brewery quarter. Taking the prime position on the high st within the £30m retail extension of the brewery quarter, this will be the 30th UK store opening for the fashion retailer, which is home to some of the most desirable brands including Calvin Klein, Levi’s and Vivienne Westwood. It is understood that subject to approval from Cheltenham Borough Council for their external signage, the new Urban Outfitters is likely to be open to the public in autumn this year.


Grantham Designer Outlet has been granted full planning permission and is set to bring premium brands to an area of the east of England not currently served by any outlet retail offering. Set across 270,000sq ft of landscaped grounds, the outlet village is scheduled for launch in Spring 2021 and will be home to 130 luxury brand stores. Driven by leading designer outlet village developers Rioja Developments and family-owned, local property investment business Buckminster, Grantham Designer Outlet will be located close to the A1 on the southern edge of Grantham in South Lincolnshire. The premium outlet village represents a £100M investment in the local area and will create approximately 1,500 jobs. Grantham Designer Outlet has been designed to complement the existing town centre retail offering with luxury brands that cannot be found in any typical UK market town, it will also incorporate cafes, restaurants and pubs.


Starbucks first UK franchised business partner, 23.5 Degrees, has opened its 50th store in Hull. The business opened its first Starbucks store in Liphook, Hampshire just five years ago in February 2013. The 50th opening is part of an ambitious expansion programme for 23.5 Degrees, with firm plans to expand further over the coming years. The business has a strong pipeline, with seven further new Starbucks stores planned to open by the end of August, and a further 20 new stores planned to open in the next 12 months.

It is actively seeking both freehold and leasehold drive thru opportunities sitting on main arterial routes, close to major retail destinations or on large industrial estates that can be designed into three standard sized units: 1,500, 1,800 and 2,200sq ft. These can either be modular or traditionally built. 23.5 Degrees will also consider retail park and ‘drive to’ destinations, as well as high street units.



Grosvenor Europe has announced that leading fashion brand, COS, has opened its North West regional flagship store at the entrance to Liverpool ONE’s Peter’s Lane. COS has transformed a former historic warehouse to create the store, which brings the brand’s modern, functional and considered design for men and women to the North West for the first time.

Sam Miller, Head of Expansion at H&M Group, added: “Our new regional flagship store for COS, with its historic setting at the heart of Liverpool ONE, provides a unique experience for our fashion-focused visitors. There is no better location from which we can build the COS brand in the North West.” The news follows the announcement that ARKET is to open its fifth store in the UK, and first in the North West later this year.


Hard Rock Hotel has revealed its first look inside the new hotel, ahead of opening its doors in spring 2019.
The hotel has been designed by award-winning architectural and interior design practice, Scott Brownrigg, and catering to the needs of both business and leisure travellers, Hard Rock Hotel London will boast around 1,000 stylish rooms and suites, together with two vibrant bars and a lively Hard Rock Cafe. In the lobby, the world famous Rock Shop will feature Hard Rock’s iconic merchandise.

Guests seeking the ultimate experience will have the opportunity to elevate their status and become Rock Royalty. Taking the London experience to another level, luxurious Rock Royalty rooms and suites offer extra perks including a personal concierge and access to a lavish lounge.

Being built in one of London’s most iconic locations - on the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane - the hotel will put guests just steps away from the very best London has to offer. The area's chic boutiques, world-famous department stores and legendary restaurants are matched only by its historic West End theatres and the glorious green spaces of Hyde Park. With hundreds of plays, festivals and musical events in this vibrant part of London each year, Hard Rock Hotel London is sure to inspire and excite. Set to be the ultimate urban hang-out, visitors will experience a true taste of London, boasting a menu filled with new and exciting cocktail creations and fresh, handmade, classic American cooking served with a modern British twist. With 370 seats, the hotel’s Hard Rock Cafe will combine an elevated food and drink offering with live events, celebrating both local London and international talent.