Boost for Wigan shopping centre as boss celebrates arrival of four new tenants
A Wigan shopping centre boss believes four new tenants and a host of lease renewals show “optimism and confidence” following the coronavirus pandemic.
The Grand Arcade shopping centre has completed four new lettings to a mixture of independent retailers and national chains since the spring.
They include luxurious independent jewellers Case & Case, independent cafe Little Kitchen, national retailer The Works and beauty retailer Glamour Point.
Centre manager Mike Matthews said: “These new deals show optimism and confidence and are really good news for Grand Arcade and Wigan. Like many other towns and centres, we are working to rebuild ourselves from the aftermath of Covid-19 and Wigan was hit harder than many other retail areas. However, we understand what our customers need and we are working really hard to bring the retail mix that they want, alongside a renewed focus on marketing and enlivenment activity that will ensure we stay relevant and close to our community.”
Several tenants have renewed or regeared their leases, with HMV moving to a larger store and The Body Shop, Schuh and Deichmann all renewing.
These come on top of a host of renewals earlier in the year, with firms such as 02, Sports Direct and Waterstones renewing in the Grand Arcade.
The latest store openings have created more than 30 jobs, while the renewals secured a further 40 roles.
A new event zone is planned for the Grand Arcade in the coming weeks, which will provide a stream of activities, ranging from free events in the summer holidays to the opportunity for retailers to directly engage with tenants with new products.
Mr Matthews said: “It is important that we celebrate the good news stories in retail, especially where there is job creation for the local community. Retailers and landlords are working together to come up with the best solutions that work for each other and give the public what they need and want. A post-Covid landscape is a learning curve for all of us, but where there is recovery, it should be celebrated.”
Deals were completed by joint agents Avison Young and Lunson Mitchenall.
The Grand Arcade, opened in March 2007, was set to revolutionise the town centre, attracting big high-street retailers.
And the new businesses arriving at the Grand Arcade will come as a welcome relief for bosses, after a host of departures.
Fashion chain H&M shut its doors in May, just months after the closure of neighbouring store Next, and neither have yet moved into new premises in the town centre.
Wigan town centre as a whole has lost a host of big-name businesses in recent years, including M&S, Topshop, Debenhams and WH Smith.
There is also some reshuffling taking place ahead of the demolition of The Galleries shopping centre, with Glamour Point cosmetics shop moving to Standishgate earlier this year. Spectrum sexual health services temporarily moved to Leigh until a new base could be found in Wigan.
The green light was given this week for work to start to knock down The Galleries and replace it with a hotel, 464 homes and a multimedia centre with a cinema, 10-lane bowling alley and indoor mini-golf, along with the new market hall, shops and office space.