Intu Properties PLC intu properties - Leasing update

Intu properties - Leasing update

Primark, Flannels, Hugo Boss, Jack Wills, G-Star RAW, Tessuti, Slim Chickens, and Bershka are the latest brands to open stores with intu, the owner, manager and developer of some of the UK's most popular retail destinations, as it builds on its resilient operational performance.

Highlights from intu's latest leasing update, covering the period from October 2018 to 30 November 2018, include a range of retail, leisure and experiential offerings across the UK.

New leasing activity

Primark is the latest in a long line of major tenants to upsize its operations at intu Merry Hill, following Topshop, River Islandand JD Sports in taking additional space at the centre. The flagship Primark store is now 70 per cent larger, extending into the lower level of a former BHS unit, whilst luxury retailer of contemporary clothing, Flannels, has secured an 11,000 sq ft space on the upper level of intu Merry Hill's former BHS. The new Flannels concept store will feature custom bold prints and fabrics that can be interchanged, allowing the store to evolve throughout the seasons. Showcasing a range of luxury fashion brands, this new store will focus on customer experience, as Flannels invests in the entrance and till point areas while also launching a luxury Click and Collect service.

The success of intu Watford's £180 million extension continues with Hugo Boss taking 3,550 sq ft respectively alongside eateries Côte Brasserie and MOD Pizza who will open in the destination's brand-new dining area. The centre's 400,000 sq ft extension already boasts a new Debenhams concept store as well as Jack Wills, Superdry, New Look and H&M as Watford climbs into CACI's top 20 national rankings for the best retail destinations alongside Edinburgh and Bristol. The 23,626 sq ft Hollywood Bowl and 9-screen IMAX Cineworld will also anchor the space, opening ahead of Christmas.

Jack Wills has opened two more stores at intu; a 3,873 sq ft store at intu Metrocentre and a 3,385 sq ft unit at intu Lakeside, both following the recent success of its store at the intu Watford extension. These new openings at two of the UK's top ten shopping centres, as ranked by data analytics company GlobalData, will feature the brand's heritage-inspired designs, classic styles and iconic loungewear. intu Metrocentre and intu Lakeside will also see the denim brand G-Star RAW open 2,454 sq ft and 2,500 sq ft spaces respectively. These openings reflect the continued attraction of intu centres with intu Metrocentre seeing a number of retailers including Quiz, Bodycare and Footasylum increasing their store space to showcase their full ranges.

Premium fashion brand Tessuti will be opening a new store at Manchester Arndale. The move sees the designer brand's owner, JD Sports Fashion plc committing to a total 12,500 sq ft of space, as its menswear store Scotts also upgrades to a larger location in the centre adjacent to Tessuti. This marks an impressive year for Manchester Arndale with Scandinavian fashion brand Monki and American brand Gap also joining the centre.

St David's, Cardiff, sees new stores for restaurant Slim Chickens and fashion label Bershka, whose new contemporary 8,500 sq ft store, situated on the Upper Grand Arcade, has been designed by an in-house team with the space providing a concept-led look and feel. Meanwhile, Slim Chickens, known for its signature hand breaded and cooked to order chicken, secured its first franchised restaurant outside London as it takes a 2,400 sq ft space. This follows the restaurant's significant growth in America, boasting over 80 outlets across the continent. Ed's Easy Diner, who are upsizing their space in the centre, will become Slim Chickens' new neighbour on St David's bustling and growing ground floor dining area, taking demand for an increased leisure offer. Both are due to launch before Christmas.

Additionally, Watches of Switzerland has unveiled its newly refurbished store at the centre, meaning its offer now includes an enlarged TAG Heuer boutique, and Panerai, an Italian brand with Swiss technology.

David Fischel, intu chief executive, commented:

"Demand for space at intu centres remains high, with established brands clearly seeing the benefits of expanding their footprint in our prime, high footfall shopping centres. Our winning destinations, which benefit from intu's ongoing investment and an evolving retail environment, appeal to both heavyweight names and exciting innovative brands who continue to seek flagship stores in prime locations. The winning combination of retail and leisure in our centres creates a compelling environment for our customers who are seeking the widest possible choice of brands and experiences for a full day out in one convenient location."