intu shopping centres announce new leasing activity

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Zara, Hollywood Bowl, Hollister Co., Market Halls, The Florist, Angry Birds, Clip ‘n Climb and Cuppedia, are the latest brands to open with intu, the owner, manager and developer of some of the UK’s largest and most popular retail and leisure destinations, as it builds on its resilient operational performance.

Highlights from intu’s latest leasing update, covering the period from February 2019 to May 2019, include a range of retail, leisure and experiential offerings across the UK.

New leasing activity

Zara has opened one of its largest stores in the country at intu Lakeside, with a 35,000sq ft flagship space showcasing its full range of womenswear, menswear and kidswear over two- floors. The retailer is the latest brand to invest in a flagship store at the centre, as retailers gear up for the opening of the centre’s new £72 million leisure development later this year, which will offer new experiences to shoppers and is expected to boost footfall by up to 2.5 million. A string of other retailers have upsized, with H&M and Next opening bigger stores whilst River Island has doubled in size to open an extended 21,000sq ft store earlier this month which is also one of the largest stores in its portfolio.

As part of intu Lakeside’s new 175,000sq foot leisure-led extension, Hollywood Bowl has already opened a 24-lane bowling venue – one of its largest sites – which feataures an American- style diner, bar and state-of-the art amusement area. Other leisure openings will include Puttshack, Flip Out, and family entertainment centre Nickelodeon Adventure. Ahead of this new leisure offering, Upside Down House UK has opened its second site in the country at the centre, as it brings customers a unique ‘zero-gravity’ experience in a two-storey inverted home.

This enhanced leisure offering will be accompanied by multiple new restaurants including Chiktopia, a new chicken restaurant concept created by some of the dining industry’s most successful figures, which will make its debut at intu Lakeside’s extension. The new brand is being led by Alastair Gordon, formerly of Ole & Steen, and advised by a group of senior industry figures including Dan Einzig, founder of Mystery Design, Mark Lilley, CEO of Abokado and Richard Morris MD of Tortilla.

New food hall concept The Hall, from Market Halls, will also take a 14,500sq foot space, with the group having selected intu Lakeside’s leisure development for its first out-of-town concept venture. The site will bring together dynamic and independent food traders from across the south east.

In a UK first, intu Metrocentre will soon become home to an Angry Birds themed golf attraction, as the franchise – which boasts four billion mobile game downloads – brings its international popularity to the 20 million annual footfall centre. The sequel to the high-grossing

The Angry Birds Movie is set for release following the brand’s attraction opening at intu Metrocentre. The leisure offering at the centre will be further enhanced with Namco UK due to open a new 3,600sq ft Clip ‘n Climb climbing wall attraction which will exhibit more than 26 colourful climbing walls. These latest openings will heighten the centre’s appeal and increase dwell time with shoppers increasingly keen for a full day out at intu centres.

Hollister Co. will open its latest UK store at intu Watford this summer, bringing its range of California-inspired casualwear to the centre’s 400,000 sq ft extension which opened at the end of last year. In further good news for the centre’s affluent customer base, The Florist, known for its iconic venues, has opened a 9,000sq ft space at the centre’s £180 million extension. The outlet’s vibrant menu and floral cocktails will immerse shoppers in an all-new sensory experience, whilst at the other end of the centre, brands such as John Lewis and Rock Up will see five caterers take space through the creation of a brand-new grab-and-go offer.

Cuppedia, a specialist artisan chocolate and patisserie brand is opening its first unit in the UK at intu Trafford Centre. Inspired by its Turkish heritage, the outlet’s handcrafted chocolates, Turkish delights and signature pastries bring its exciting Middle Eastern flavours to the UK’s top five rated centre, as scored by GlobalData.

Matthew Roberts, intu chief executive, commented: “I am delighted to announce my first leasing update as chief executive of intu, with these exciting new lettings underlining the appeal of intu’s winning destinations. Established and innovative new brands continue to seek space in our high-footfall locations and we continue to invest in our flagship centres to create destinations where they will flourish. Despite a challenging retail environment, we continue to invest in our leisure offering including, numerous eateries and entertainment offers increasing dwell time and providing customers with unrivalled experiences. This combination of high-quality retail brands and exciting leisure opportunities marks intu centres out as high-footfall, desirable destinations where shoppers can find the widest possible choice to suit their needs.”