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Debenhams reveals new expansion plans Friday, 19th April 2013
Debenhams is reported to have identified up to 70 high streets and shopping centres where it hopes to open outlets and expand its UK store portfolio. After reporting back this week on a tough half which saw profits fall 5.4 per cent, Debenhams is now thought to be re-evaluating its presence on the high street, looking to add up to 70 new stores to its current portfolio.
Bluewater set to become nation’s largest shopping centre Tuesday, 7th August 2012
Photo credit: Lend Lease Corp. New plans to extend Kent’s shopping centre by 375,000 sq ft could see Bluewater become the UK’s largest shopping centre. Bluewater owners Lend Lease will begin public consultation for the extension in September, with a full application submitted later this year.
A panoramic view of Bluewater Shopping Centre
M-commerce transactions to reach £24bn by 2016 Wednesday, 18th January 2012
M-commerce transactions are set to be worth £24 billion by 2016, according to two reports released this week. Analysts at IHS Screen Digest and Informa Telecoms & Media have issued separate reports detailing the future of commerce through mobile devices. Informa predicted that m-commerce revenues will reach £24 billion by 2016 with remote payments for physical goods and services and international mobile money transfers accounting for two-thirds of the total m-commerce market.
Ted Baker unveils Tedbury Village in Bluewater Friday, 11th November 2011
At nearly double the size of Ted Baker’s former Bluewater outlet, Tedbury Village comes with everything a fictional Kentish town would need; including its own pub and paper. The 7,000 sq ft store is located on Bluewater’s lower Guildhall area. The centre represents a particularly strong trading location for Ted Baker.
Sacoor Brothers makes strong UK debut Tuesday, 13th September 2011
Sacoor Brothers, the Portuguese fashion and lifestyle brand, is making its UK debut with a 1,941 square foot store at Westfield Stratford City.
The retailer has also taken a 2,400 square foot space at Westfield London and a third store is scheduled to open in early 2012 at the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. Not only this, the brand is also planning to open a flagship store in Central London and there are also plans to extend its reach to designer outlet locations across the UK.
David Close of CB Richard Ellis has said: “Sacoor Brothers is a high quality fashion brand that is extremely popular in Portugal and will be an excellent addition to the UK’s fashion offering. The UK has been identified as a key retail market and CBRE is currently seeking new store locations in prominent retail destinations in Central London and the best outlet villages in the remainder of the country.”
The fashion chain, which was established in Lisbon in 1989, has 30 stores in 33 cities throughout Portugal, Spain, Benelux, Romania and the Middle East.
Cath Kidston to open in Bluewater Wednesday, 24th August 2011
The home and design lifestyle brand will open its first non-high street or factory outlet store in Kent’s Bluewater centre.
The unit, which spans 2,103 sq ft, is set to open in autumn and will be situated on Bluewater’s lower Rose Gallery, adjacent to John Lewis.
The store will stock Cath Kidston’s full range of homewares, women’s fashion, accessories and Cath Kids products.
Guy Thomas, head of retail leasing at Lend Lease, said: “Cath Kidston’s choice of Bluewater is a great accolade. They are the latest in a series of brands to have chosen Bluewater to herald a move away from their traditional locations.
“Along with Radley and Little White Company, Cath Kidston recognises Bluewater’s unique combination of high footfall, affluent catchment and guest loyalty to the brand.”
Chris McKendrick, retail director for Cath Kidston, added:
“This is a significant move for us and we are excited about what the retail opportunity at Bluewater will bring. Bluewater attracts a captive audience including a high concentration of non-high street shoppers that is only set to expand our growing customer base.
Stocking our full range of products, and with prices ranging from £1.50 to £200 there will be something for everyone, we look forward to welcoming the Bluewater guest to the Cath Kidston experience.”
New Lakeside flagship for Forever 21 Monday, 4th July 2011
The US fashion giant will open a new flagship store at Capital Shopping Centres’ Lakeside centre in Kent.
Forever 21’s new flagship will span 35,000 sq ft over three floors, created by combining existing Topshop and Topman stores.
The retailer is planning to open in time for Christmas peak 2013.
Larry Meyer, executive vice president for Forever 21, said: "As we continue with our UK and European expansion, our strategy means it is vital that we have the best stores in key shopping centres and we are grateful that CSC has helped us in our aims by investing in a redevelopment that helps us to achieve that goal."
Harper Dennis Hobbs acted for Forever 21 whilst Lunson Mitchenall and CWM advised Lakeside.
Aldi ousted for £10.5m Waitrose store Friday, 17th June 2011
Aurum Real Estate and Boultbee have purchased St Georges Place in Canterbury, Kent from retailer Aldi for £10.5 million.Estates Gazette this morning stated Aldi is vacating the 55,000 sq ft property and fund manager Clavis Walden Investments has secured vacant space elsewhere to create a supermarket. Waitrose has agreed to trade from 25,000 sq ft on a 20-year lease, subject to planning. The letting to Waitrose forms part of the regeneration of St Georges Road, which also includes a 234-bedroom student accommodation block on behalf of Christchurch Canterbury University. Iain Keys of Clavis Walden Investments, which advised Boultbee and Aurum on its purchase, said: "This project will deliver not only excellent returns but will also significantly enhance the vicinity and satisfy the needs of one of the country's leading retailers." Clive Boultbee Brooks, managing director of Boultbee, added: "This project reflects our desire to build a £250m portfolio of quality retail and industrial assets in the UK and to create value with partners who can deliver a business plan."
Terrace Hill adds to portfolio in Kent and Prestwich Wednesday, 8th June 2011
The property development group has expanded its foodstore portfolio with acquisitions in Prestwich, near Manchester and Herne Bay, Kent.Terrace Hill acquired an option to purchase Longfield shopping precinct in Prestwich. The redevelopment is likely to be foodstore-led and will be completed under a joint venture with HMG, the site’s current owners.The group has also purchased a seven-acre site next to the Altira Park industrial and office centre in Herne Bay to develop a foodstore. Completion of the acquisition is conditional upon securing planning permission and a supermarket prelet.Chief executive of Terrace Hill, Philip Leech said,"These two acquisitions further underline our continued progress in the expansion of Terrace Hill's foodstore development pipeline,” adding that, “they mark the first deal originated from our Manchester office, which opened last year, and our first project in Kent, as we fulfil our strategy of expanding our foodstore operations in the south of England.”Planning applications are expected for early 2012, with a projected value of £60 million for both schemes once work is complete.
O2 services reduced after equipment damaged by thieves Tuesday, 17th May 2011
Customers of the mobile phone company have reported significant problems with basic services after equipment was damaged by thieves at an undisclosed location in East London.
Customers across London, east Sussex and Kent cannot make calls, use the internet or send or receive texts and emails after essential equipment was damaged in the early hours of this morning. Engineers are currently working to replace the damaged and stolen equipment which is expected to be back in service later this evening.
O2 have declined to go into detail about the incident, though a spokesperson has commented that it was "a well organised theft". Despite this significant service interruption, O2 has emphasised that they are making every effort to "restore full service as soon as possible following this unforeseen incident".