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@retail scores with latest city centre letting

Premium Sportswear Brand Castore Sports have been announced as official kit Partner to Newcastle Utd and @retail are pleased to have represented the Landlord in arranging the letting of their new City Centre store which will be in Unit 9A on the Blackett Street frontage of Monument Mall.

Other big names associated with the brand include Sir Andy Murray, Rangers FC and The McLaren Formula 1 Team.  Other big names associated with Monument Mall include Hugo Boss, Reiss, Michael Kors, The White Company, The Botanist and Banyan.

Please get in touch with Ian Angus of @retail or our joint agent Steve Henderson of Savills in Leeds to talk about joining the line-up.

Acquisition of key retail destination leads to new appointment for @retail

The Newcastle-based property consultancy, @retail has been appointed as joint letting agent for one of the city’s leading retail and leisure destinations.

Following the acquisition of Monument Mall by Taras Properties, @retail and Savills have been tasked with finding occupiers for two vacant retail units on the Blackett Street frontage in central Newcastle.

In recent years Monument Mall has established itself as the go-to destination for ‘high-end’ shopping and leisure in Newcastle. Occupiers include Hugo Boss, Fat Face, The White Company, Rox, Reiss and White Stuff as well as bar and restaurant operators The Botanist and Banyan.

Ian Angus, director of @retail, said: “Monument Mall is one of the most sought-after retail locations in the region and we are delighted to be working with Savills on behalf of the Landlord.

“With the availability of Unit 9A and Unit 6, there are immediate opportunities which offer fantastic positions within the city centre. We are also exploring new opportunities for food and beverage offers which we hope will lead to some exciting announcements in the months ahead.”

@retail is also advising on the retail and leisure elements of the forthcoming East Pilgrim Street mixed-use developments from the Swan House Roundabout to the South to the Northern end of Pilgrim Street and which have been initiated with the development of Bank House, a new 120,000 sq.ft Grade A office due for completion in 2023.

For more information on the opportunities available, please contact Ian Angus.

@retail helps flooring brand carpet the country

Flooring Superstore is on its way to a major milestone as it opens its 33rd branch.

@retail and Flooring Superstore have worked together since 2013 when the first location was identified for the Bishop Auckland-based retailer, and by the end of 2021, we aim to be celebrating with staff as they open their 50th UK branch.

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Over the past few months, our retail property experts have acquired new trading sites towards reaching this goal, in Norwich, Lincoln, Hull and Carlisle, and we’re in the process of sourcing new properties in key cities including Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield, as well as in major Scottish towns and cities.

Chris Barber, Chief Retail Officer for Flooring Superstore, which currently employs more than 350 people across the country, explains: “@retail has been part of our journey from day one, helping secure some fantastic locations for us right across the UK.

“The team has been a real help in understanding and securing the right properties for our business, which blends a robust ecommerce offering with a modern retail experience. For us and our customers, nothing is better than being able to see and touch a product in person, and that’s going to be part of our shoppers’ demands for a long time to come.

“It’s all about balancing the technological elements with the physical, tactile and sensory to create a truly rounded shopping experience – one store at a time. Augmented reality will bring online and offline offerings even closer together and our showrooms are futuristic and experiential. We plan to stay at the forefront of that to lead the way in this field.”

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Our director Ian Thurlbeck says: “The key to our strategy is really getting under the skin of our client’s businesses to truly understand their needs. Flooring Superstore is unique in that it doesn’t rely on huge footprints because not all of its stock is held in store.

“Getting the right size stores, in the right location and at the right time is crucial, and working together using insight based on consumer research allows us to target hot spot areas.

“Flooring Superstore is on its way to achieving countrywide coverage by the end of the year due to this approach, and its drive to become the UK’s most pioneering flooring retailer for staff and customers alike frames the way we work to find locations that are the best fit.

“This means Chris and his team can focus on increasing footfall by creating a brand experience that is second to none.”

Flooring Superstore is also working to develop eco-friendly product ranges and grow within this sector. It will plant 20 million trees over the next five years to become carbon neutral and contribute towards a positive environmental impact. One million trees have already been planted by the chain over the past 10 months thanks to its rapid growth.

Flooring Superstore’s Catford Hill Retail Park branch will open its doors tomorrow (Saturday, June 19th), and more are due to follow in the next few months. Aidan Farrell of Zeitlyn Farrell represents Flooring Superstore in the south of England.

At @retail, we advise on all aspects of retail property management and ownership, offering strategic and operational consultancy on matters such as shopping centre leasing, investment, development, and professional services.

Luxury male grooming comes to Gosforth

An ambitious North East barbershop is set to cut a new chapter of success after securing larger premises in Gosforth.

Webster & Carr, which has opened to provide luxury male grooming and wellbeing services, has taken 900 sq. ft. of space on the site of a former nail salon in Gosforth Shopping Centre, as part of a 10-year deal arranged by retail property specialists @retail.

The move provides room for growth for co-owners Darren Carr and Kirsty Park as they look to develop a business that is seeing high demand for award-winning hairstyles and facials among other male grooming products.

This includes a treatment known as the ‘Whiskey Shave’ where staff set fire to the blade in order to further sanitise and kill germs.

They were attracted to Gosforth by the location and size of property – it opens onto the local high street – and are already considering plans to increase their ‘dream’ enterprise as lockdown eases with further new additions.

Investment has seen the site transformed with a new look frontage, retro Italian style salon equipment and furnishings, and barber chairs to seat up to five customers at one time.

Darren Carr said: “The Gosforth site creates a unique space that is warm and welcoming for customers from all walks of life looking for a new haircut or facial treatment – all underpinned by a great service. @retail understood what we wanted for the business and have been extremely supportive in helping us to secure a great location.”

This latest deal comes as Cobalt-based @retail continues to see a high level of enquiries from retail start-ups and smaller niche operators looking for quality, cost effective space despite the current economic outlook and growth in online shopping.

Ian Angus, director at @retail, said: “Sites across Gosforth and other parts of Newcastle are garnering a lot of interest from entrepreneurial businesses and niche operators on the look-out for the right size of premises in the right location. It’s all part of a wider, changing regional retail landscape where businesses with vision and ambition like Webster & Carr are helping to reshape urban retail.”


@retail Brews Up New Coffee House Deal

North East retail property specialist @retail has secured a new tenant for the former site of a Bookmakers in Jesmond.

Local NCL has taken 500 sq. ft. of ground floor space as part of a 15-year deal for a corner location on Acorn Road, in a move that will see the entrepreneurial retailer look to develop its operations with outdoor seating to accommodate customers.

The former Coral Bookmakers is the first premises Local NCL have opened, being attracted by the popular location and the scope offered for further expansion as sales of the local produce it stocks start to take-off.

The owners of Local NCL are looking to continue their investment into the site. The shop has already seen a refurbishment inside and out with the goal of creating an old school corner shop which the community can be proud of.

The deal comes as @retail continue to see strong interest in cost effective retail space from new ventures and smaller niche operators looking for room for growth, despite the impact of Covid restrictions and the surge in online shopping.

Local NCL’s Guy Pike said the site was chosen to accommodate their start up plans, particularly the opportunity to develop the outside space belonging to the building.

He added: “Although representing the landlord, @retail really understood our requirements and were extremely supportive in helping to secure the site – we couldn’t have asked for anything more. Ian Angus, who kept us informed of progress throughout, is extremely knowledgeable and his expertise made the difference in getting the business up and running in the right location.”

Ian Angus, director of @retail, said: “As lockdown eases and the economy starts to pick up again, we are seeing steady demand for retail space in locations away from traditional shopping centres and which benefit from strong local footfall and passing trade which is perhaps being driven by more of a ‘shop local’ and ‘work from home’ culture.  This includes Jesmond and other suburban Tyneside districts, which are currently attracting a lot of interest.”

@retail Secures National Brand for Revamped County Durham Dancehall

The building at Ritson Street in Stanley, which was formerly a dancehall for the Stanley Central Club and Institute, was acquired by Almscliffe Dhesi Investments Ltd in April 2020.

After being appointed by the new owner, @retail successfully secured a new 10-year lease with Toolstation as part of their ongoing national roll-out programme. The trade counter operator, which supplies tools, accessories and building supplies to the trade, home-improvers and self-builders is expected to create eight full-time jobs.

The 4,565 sqft unit, is well located in the heart of the town centre with nearby occupiers including McDonalds, ALDI, Argos, ASDA and Home Bargains.

Ian Thurlbeck, director at @retail said: “This transaction is a prime example of the opportunities within the retail sector to repurpose town centre buildings. The building required a full refurbishment to accommodate Toolstation’s requirements which has been successfully carried out and its great to be able bring a new name into the town.”

Durham County Council approved a planning application for the conversion of the building in December 2020, after concluding that it would bring positive economic benefits to the area.

Neil Creeney, director of Almscliffe Properties, added: “The team at @retail have played a fundamental role in the success of this project which will have numerous economic benefits for Stanley and the surrounding area. Toolstation is an expanding national brand which we feel is a great fit for the town and we delighted to see them launch their newly fitted out premises.”

@retail has a high street agency team and advises on all aspects of retail property management and ownership, offering strategic and operational consultancy on matters such as shopping centre leasing, investment, development, and professional services.

Reshaping the future of retail – Jonathan Chapman

We’ve all heard the cries that the high street is gone; doomed to become a distant, long cherished memory of a golden retail age, echoed the length and breadth of the land. We’re told that shoppers will never come back, turning their backs in their droves on our high-street brands to shop online from the comfort and convenience of their own home. Assured convictions; bolstered by the shattering impact of the pandemic.

But above the clamour, no-one seems to have told consumers, who have returned in their millions as non-essential retail opens for business after months of unfortunate closure. Indeed, to paraphrase the great American writer Mark Twain: reports of the death of the high street do appear to be exaggerated.

While there’s no disguising the depressing sight of vacant high street units and boarded up shop fronts, it’s important that we take the chance to delve a little deeper to understand why this is the case – and discover what can be discerned from it all.

Certainly, a poor location can contribute to a lacklustre performance and declining footfall. Competitors may have secured better pitches close by, or you may be the victim of factors beyond your control.  For instance, the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on retailers, food outlets and leisure operators who cater for nearby office buildings bereft for months of workers. It could be sometime before people return in their numbers to pre-Covid levels.

There are other factors at play, too. Retailers with vacant premises on their hands might be the victims of operators merging with one another – suddenly, there are multiple stores within striking distance of one another. I experienced this when Birthdays and Clinton Cards merged, leaving a surfeit of competing sites on our hands.

Changing consumer tastes and social mores also have a huge impact. For example, smart phones enable people to quickly and easily download apps from the betting operators, placing their bets at the click of button at home rather than visiting the nearest bookie.

But out of chaos, comes order – or perhaps reorder as we look to reshape, redefine and reinvigorate our high streets. There will always be entrepreneurial retailers on the horizon, buzzing with fresh ideas, new optimism and renewed impetus; on the look-out for the right retail location for their ventures. Vape shops are one topical example, but before that we had sunbed shops, Turkish barbers, oriental medicines and even spas offering fish pedicures.

Indeed, the work-from-home era could generate more trade for local independents, convenience stores and good old-fashioned retail parades, who are better placed to cater for the needs of remote workers than the larger, more distant supermarkets.

I have also noticed that some people are choosing to use the pandemic as an opportune moment to look afresh at their lives. And this includes those who have been made redundant but are now grabbing the bull by the horns to pursue new adventures or set up their own business. Food-led retailers – Subways, Greggs, Costa et al – are also busy acquiring and will all be in the market for new sites in the future.

There’s no question we are living through strange times. The one constant in all this is that there will be change, especially for retail. For those who possess the vision, ambition and acumen, the chance is there to reshape the future of retail and usher in a new age of opportunity and growth.

GREGGS – Drive Thru Requirements – NORTH EAST

Greggs ambitious plans for growth continue as they seek new Drive Thru sites across the North East.

Following the success of their first drive thru site on Sandy Lane in North Gosforth, two further sites in the North East are now under offer and @retail are seeking further site opportunities on Greggs behalf.

The principle site criteria is simple:

  • Stand alone 1,800 sq ft
  • Typical site area of 0.5-0.7 acres
  • Dedicated or shared parking
  • Good visibility from the roadside
  • Minimum traffic flow of 15,000 vehicles per day

Many locations will be considered including main arterial commuter routes, retail and leisure parks, petrol filling stations, food stores, business parks, industrial estates or shopping centre car parks.

Ian Thurlbeck of @retail said; “we are excited to be assisting our longstanding clients Greggs in seeking sites for this new growth venture.”

For any opportunities that may be of interest across the North East, please contact Ian Thurlbeck – / 07515 831417

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