Carlisle shopping centre, The Lanes, has reported a surge in lettings activity since the beginning of the year with big new names joining the retail line-up.
Fashion brands lead the way with Peacocks, the value fashion store, agreeing a 10-year lease, taking the former Au Naturale/Ethel Austin unit. Peacocks opened its store in The Lanes in March and said initial sales figures have exceeded expectations.
Monsoon and accessories store Claire’s have also committed to The Lanes by agreeing lease extensions, helping to reinforce the shopping centre’s reputation as the go-to place for high street fashion names in Carlisle.
Mobile operator Orange has taken a new 10-year lease on Scotch Street in the former Going Places unit. It joins Vodafone and O2, both of which have recently confirmed lease renewals, to bolster The Lanes’ telecoms offering. Media company Sky has also taken a new five-year lease.
Other retailers to have recently renewed their leases include Ryman, Holland and Barrett, Julian Graves, Superdrug and food outlet Mr Pickwicks, with Muffin Break also signing a new lease.
In a first for Carlisle, the Yoko Fish Spa will introduce the concept of the fish pedicure to the region’s shoppers when it opens its unit in The Lanes on a three-year lease.
Joint agents DTZ and Strutt & Parker, who advised Aviva Investors on the lettings, have continued to build on the shopping centre’s strong reputation for attracting sought after retail brands to the city. The lettings reflect growing retailer confidence in the market and highlight the demand from expanding national retailers to secure a presence in The Lanes.
Paul Dale, associate director of DTZ’s retail agency in Manchester, said: “The Lanes’ ability to attract new and high-profile brands demonstrates its continued popularity as the region’s premier shopping destination. Carlisle is a strong retail draw with a principal catchment of 340,000 boosted by large numbers of tourists visiting the city every year. These new lettings complement the shopping centre’s existing offering, providing a great choice of outlets and products and enhancing the shopping experience.”
Shopper spend figures for The Lanes for 2010 showed an increase of 9% on 2009 and footfall stood at 10.5m for the year. A recent report by retail experts FSP has highlighted the popularity of The Lanes by showing shoppers spend over half their total Carlisle expenditure on non-food items in the shopping centre.