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Specsavers among new deals at Willow Brook

Three new retailers have signed for the Willow Brook shopping centre in the Bristol suburb of Bradley Stoke, which opened in October 2008 anchored by Tesco Extra. Pets at Home, Specsavers and Giant Cycles will open shortly, as will earlier signings Brantano and Card Factory.

St David's wins Hennes and Fat Face

H&M Hennes has acquired 27,404 sq ft at St David’s, the new shopping centre which opens in the heart of Cardiff on October 22nd 2009. And lifestyle stores Quiksilver and Fat Face and Italian designer denim store J4 Jeans, have taken stores. Quiksilver has taken 2,182 sq ft; Fat Face 3,174 sq ft and J4 Jeans 1,471 sq ft.

The Bullring
H&M's COS set to open in Birmingham's Bullring

H&M Hennes and Mauritz is to open its first COS (Collection of Style) store outside London in the Bullring, Birmingham. Launched in the UK in 2006, COS promises "the design, flair and quality of high fashion at ground level prices".

Next and New Look take over Bhs at Ballymena's Fairhill Centre

Next and New Look have confirmed that they are to occupy major new stores at the Fairhill Shopping Centre, in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

Primark anchor at The Mall Wood Green

Primark and Lidl are taking new units at The Mall Wood Green, while existing retailer New Look has signed for a new store that will more than double the size of its existing unit.

Harlow Town Centre North
Harlow Town Centre North images revealed

London architect, Engle, has unveiled the first images of the 1.3m-sq ft mixed use Town Centre North scheme, which is set to transform Harlow Town Centre.

UK's first Legoland Discovery Centre at The Trafford Centre

Merlin Entertainments, operator of a range of visitor attractions including the London Eye, Alton Towers Resort and Madame Tussauds, is to open its first UK Legoland Discovery Centre in a 37,650-sq ft unit at The Trafford Centre, Manchester.

Profile: Centros

Centros has made big strides forward on two major projects in recent weeks. Last month it was selected to partner Anglo Irish Bank in resurrecting the 500,000-sq ft Trinity Walk scheme in Wakefield after the collapse of original developer Modus. And this month it was confirmed as the City of York’s development partner on the Castle Piccadilly site, along with LaSalle UK Ventures.

Time Bomb: Are shopping centres an inevitable target for terrorists?

On April 7 2008, Andrew Ibrahim, a former public schoolboy who converted to Islam, carried out a reconnaissance trip to the Mall shopping centre in Broadmead, central Bristol. During his time there, Ibrahim is reported to have wandered around making notes on his mobile phone, apparently recording the locations of rubbish bins and timing how long it would take to walk between them. On July 17 this year, the 20-year old A-level chemistry student was found guilty of planning a terrorist attack on the Bristol shopping centre. The evidence against him was overwhelming – Ibrahim had been watching videos of extremist preachers and suicides on the internet and at his home a half-finished suicide vest was found.

Head for Heights: Can operators deal with taller developments?

Shopping centre design in recent years has tended to focus on building upwards as a way of maximising site density and provide the dramatic spaces retailers require to present their wares. So two-level malls with double-height shop units are not uncommon.

Retail rents falling

UK shop rental values will fall by 23 per cent by the end of 2010, according to Colliers CRE. The worst economic recession since the 1930s has taken its toll on the retail sector with capital values for some properties falling by up to half, eradicating many investors’ equity and making banks the owners of many shopping centres and high streets.

Investment volume falls further

The volume of shopping centre investment activity continued to fall in the second quarter of 2007, according to new research from Knight Frank, with just £175m of deals going through the market against a long-term quarterly average of £1.3bn.

Lettings

Aberdeen: Kurt Geiger has taken a 1,527-sq ft unit, located on the ground floor of the Bon Accord Centre on a 10-year lease. The new store, which is set to open in August, will join an array of other stores opening in the centre this summer, including River Island, Topshop, Topman as well as Scotland’s biggest Next. The Bon Accord & St Nicholas centres are jointly owned by Land Securities and British Land. Cushman & Wakefield was letting agent while Harrods Estates acted for Kurt Geiger.

Small businesses remain unaware of Leasing Code

The Department of Communities and Local Government says awareness of the 2007 Code for Leasing Business Premises is very low, especially among small business tenants. Research commissioned by the department from the University of Reading found that despite a strong focus on dissemination of the new code, awareness of the 2007 code is no better than that found for the earlier 2002 code.

Food Feedback: Patisserie Valerie at Cribbs Causeway

Coverpoint’s Jonathan Doughty serves up his regular shopping centre catering review. This month he visits Patisserie Valerie at the Mall at Cribbs Causeway.

Retailers demand transparency in the pricing of retail spaces

Retailers want centre owners to provide more flexible leasing and pricing of retail spaces, reports Howard Morgan.

BRC: UK towns face the abyss

The BRC is calling on all political parties to pledge new support for the UK’s ailing high streets, and its campaign is already garnering high profile support.

On Your Marks: New government guidance affects trademarks

A re-think of trade mark laws brought in last year meant that shopping centres were, for the first time, able to protect their brands. But while it’s now possible to gain trade mark protection, there are still stringent guidelines to which shopping centres must adhere if applications are to be successful, writes Cynthia Johnson.

New Hamleys store brings joy to the North

Hamleys is one of the world's biggest top shops and one of the UK's most famous brands. The London store which has been trading for more than 250 years, has remained the only standalone store with the full offering, despite a growing number of aitport shops and a brief dalliance with concession stores. That is, until now.

Staying clean and green

Cleaning and maintenance is pivotal in ensuring shopping malls look their best. But can they be clean, lean and green? Hannah Previtt investigates how cash-strapped centres are coping with the challenge of being environmentally clean

Gunwharf Quay’s winning formula

Gunwharf Quays mixed-use development in Portsmouth is leading the way in waste management, re-use and recycling programmes. The 33-acre site comprises of 95 designer outlets, 20 bars and restaurants, a 14-screen cinema, a bowling complex, comedy club, casino, a health and fitness club and a 130-bedroom hotel. In addition, the underground multi storey car park is one of the largest in Europe. All in all, the site has to deal with a lot of waste.

Customers search for bargains

Even the wealthiest of customers are becoming bargain hunters as a result of the downturn, research commissioned by coupon services provider Valassis has found. The report showed that 31 per cent of consumers of all spending power are more closely scouring the shops for promotional offers than they were a year ago. Over a quarter cited a rise in the cost of living as the reason for them being more cost-conscious, while 29 per cent said it was because food is more expensive and 21 per cent stated it was because they have less money than a year ago.

Heatwave aids UK retail sales

UK retail sales saw a resurgence in June after more seasonal weather persuaded shoppers to hit the shops and part with their hard earned cash, figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have shown. As a result of the sunnier climes, UK retail sales rose 1.4 per cent on May’s figures and were up 3.2 per cent on the figures for June 2008, when sales were hit by bad weather.

Consumer spend is highest in London and Paris

London and Paris are the places to be in Europe, as this is where consumers are parting with the most cash. These cities also have some of the highest prime rents in the world, shows the data taken from Experian and Jones Lang LaSalle’s European Retail Centre Rankings. Italy, Germany and Spain all have two cities each that make the top 10 of the European rankings with Moscow the only city in Central and Eastern Europe to break into the upper echelon.

Amir Khan victorious at The Triangle

Boxing star Amir Khan warmed up for his successful world title challenge with a public workout in front of over 1,000 shoppers at The Triangle in Manchester.

CSC scoops Solal Awards in Vienna

Capital Shopping Centres scooped three top industry awards at the International Council of Shopping Centres’ Solal Marketing Awards, held in Vienna.

First ever shopping centre wedding

The Kingdom Shopping Centre in Glenrothes, Scotland became the first UK mall to host a wedding on Saturday July 4.