Set to open on March 30, the new H&M store will take a prime location in the central mall, covering circa 21,000 sq ft. This comprises 8,200 sq ft on the ground floor dedicated entirely to childrenswear and additional 12,800 sq ft on the first floor for both men and women’s retail.
Following a successful temporary store, independent Surrey and Sussex based toy shop, Toy Barnhaus, has taken a permanent 2,207 sq ft unit, which is located on the upper trading level. High quality multi brand jewellery store, Pitch Blue, opened a 515-sq ft store located at the Station Road entrance. Also recently welcomed is nationwide food and coffee shop, Muffin Break, trading from a 1,063-sq ft store. Within the last six months, these recent additions have created an estimated total of 22 jobs.
Alongside new additions, several brands have relocated within the shopping centre. O2 have more than doubled the size of their original store, taking a 1,725-sq ft unit located at the High Street entrance. Card Factory now occupies a 2,260 sq ft store, with Robert Dyas having moved to a 4,192 sq ft unit, which is adjacent to WH Smith. These relocations were undertaken as part of the site assembly for the recent H&M letting.
Commenting on the news, Ian Henton, Director, Retail Leasing at Lambert Smith Hampton, said: “The Belfry benefits from a loyal catchment of both local residents and office workers. This makes up an average weekly footfall of 100,000, though we strongly expect this figure to rise following the opening of the large H&M store. The estimated combined capital investment by the landlord in this string of additions is in excess of £2m, clearly demonstrating the strong commitment and confidence in the future of the centre.”
This is followed by the news of additional deals that are yet to be announced, including one with another new retailer that is currently in advanced legal stages.