UK fashion favourite River Island has announced a plan to open a series of new flagship stores in 2018, starting with a major upsize at Landsec’s White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds. River Island’s new flagship store at White Rose will open on the 14th April and incorporate the brand’s largest single-floor womenswear department in the UK.
The launch of the new concept store at White Rose is the first of five new flagship stores that River Island plans to launch this year, whether that is through overhauling and extending existing stores, or opening in entirely new locations.
As well as its extended womenswear offering at White Rose, the new Leeds store will feature an extended kids department with its own entrance from the mall, as well as the brand’s latest menswear range. Overall, the new White Rose store will see River Island increase its offering at the shopping centre by 9,000sq ft to a total of 26,000sq ft.
The new store will also introduce customers to new in-store experiences for the first time, including River Island’s dedicated click and collect service centre and the retailer’s in-store DJ concept. The store design will allow professional DJs to set up in store to deliver a unique customer experience throughout the year by playing live sets during specific events.
Russell Loveland, senior portfolio director, Landsec said: “This new flagship store from River Island will provide a fantastic fashion experience for visitors to White Rose. The number of brands choosing to open new stores, increase their presence or launch new concepts at the centre clearly demonstrates it has become an established go to location for retailers, as well as a destination that offers an incredible range of exciting experiences to visitors.”
Frances Baker, property director, River Island said: “Our strategy is about being in the best locations, at the best retail and leisure schemes, and, boosted by on-going investment from Landsec, White Rose undoubtedly falls into that category. We’re keen to continue to innovate the in-store experience we provide, and the success we’ve had at White Rose made it a perfect candidate for us to expand and showcase our latest products and in-store concepts to our customers.”
In 2017, following significant investment in White Rose from owner Landsec, 15 brands, restaurateurs, and leisure operators unveiled new or upgraded offerings at White Rose. Last year, Landsec completed its 65,000 sq ft leisure extension named The Village, which is now home to six new restaurants including Five Guys, Limeyard, Chiquito, Wagamama, TGI Fridays and Pizza Hut, as well as the latest multiplex offering from Cineworld including IMAX. Other new openings or upsizes at White Rose in 2017 included:
- Next investing £6m in a new and enhanced 51,500 sq ft flagship store at White Rose, nearly double the size of its previous store in Leeds.
- Global fashion brand Superdry launched a new concept at White Rose.
- Beaverbrooks carried out a major refurbishment of its existing store on the ground floor of the shopping centre.
- Build-A-Bear Workshop celebrated its 50th Anniversary by re-opening its store at White Rose with a refreshed brand, layout and colour palette.
- Other key retailers to come to White Rose during 2017 included, El Mexicana, Footasylum and CEX.
Landsec also continues to see an influx of retailers demanding space at Trinity Leeds, its shopping centre in Leeds city centre. Recent deals at Trinity Leeds include Pret a Manger and Absurd Bird, which opened its first ever store in the North of England at Trinity Kitchen – Landsec’s trailblazing street food destination.
Elsewhere in Landsec’s retail portfolio, The Westgate Oxford Alliance – a joint venture between Landsec and The Crown Estate – has announced that leading fashion retailer, Zara, is moving from its current Oxford location to open their new store at Westgate shopping centre. Zara will almost double in size to a three-storey 39,500sq ft store, which will be located along the North Arcade of Westgate. The new store is due to open later this year.