The Northeast’s two major malls have featured a slew of new store openings, store expansions and remodels in time for holiday shoppers.
Metrocentre, Gateshead’s premier shopping and entertainment complex, has already heralded the arrival of new names for drinking and dining in recent weeks, including Tapas Revolution. Now, the center has unveiled three new openings, two store relocations, and two major remodels, all within the month of November.
To join their new Hobbs, Jo Malone and Tapas Revolution, shoe giants Schuh and Schuh kids have relocated and expanded into two new stand-alone units at the end of the Red Mall. The spacious new stores have allowed retailers to expand their ranges of products and provide an enhanced shopping experience.
Meanwhile, down Green Mall, jewelery retailers H Samuel and Swarovski have also reopened in two renovated stores, in time for the busy Christmas shopping period.
Ben Cox of Sovereign Centros, Metrocentre’s Senior Asset Manager, said: “We continually seek to update our lineup of brands to create the best retail and leisure experiences for our visitors. The significant investment by these brands to upgrade and improve their stores is testament to the strength of the center.
“We have more new announcements to make before the end of the year that we hope to share shortly.”
Neil Partington, Schuh’s Retail Director, said: “We are delighted that our relocation within Metrocentre will provide a seamless shopping experience for our customers in the North East, in an environment that brings Schuh’s individualism to life.
“While adapting to changes within the marketplace and focusing on our Gen Z shoppers, the new Schuh stores will provide a vibrant home for our ever-growing footwear offering; moving away from traditional gender categorization and presenting each collection by brand. The adult store will align with our new 2020 store design concept, along with a dedicated children’s store, which is an exciting growth opportunity for both Schuh and Metrocentre.”
Signet UK & Ireland Managing Director Neil Old added: “I am very excited about the opening of our new H. Samuel store. We have come a long way since Harriet Samuel opened her first store in 1890, but with her customer-focused approach and appreciation of the value of jewelry, we think she would approve.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s Eldon Square is toasting to a successful year with 15 new store openings, including Victoria’s Secret, Swatch and Mango. Eldon Square bosses said new restaurant additions are also on the way as they announced an increase in footfall, quarter-on-quarter, with malls gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels of visitors and activity against a backdrop of difficult economic.
Recent store openings include lingerie retailer Bravissimo, premium clothing and footwear provider Kick Game and Spanish fashion house Mango, which chose Eldon Square as one of three UK store bases this year.
The Eldon Square pop-up shop in collaboration with Barker Proudlove and Catella APAM is also open on Eldon Way, along with Calendar Club, Sports Traider, an established charity shop specializing in sports kits and equipment, and Angel Telecoms. The Cosmo World Buffet Restaurant is now open in Newgate Street and George’s Fish Shack is also open in Grey’s Quarter.
Since taking over Eldon Square asset management in October 2020, Catella APAM said it has boosted the center’s stability with nearly 30 new leases and 40 lease renewals completed in two years. Rentals include H&M, Austen & Blake, Bagel Factory, iSmash, Molton Brown, The Real Greek, The Bake, Swatch, and Ramsdens Therapi.
Bernice Nesham from Catella APAM added: “We are delighted to end this year on such a high note. Welcoming a number of high-profile retailers as well as independent businesses to our Center, combined with an ever-increasing footfall, is the greatest testament to the work we’ve been doing at the center. Despite the rise in online shopping, we have seen significant increases in Eldon Square, and retailers are eager to get in on the action and become a part of this vibrant shopping center.
“These new openings are fantastic news, not just for Eldon Square, but for our entire region, as even with the current difficulties facing the retail industry, we are still ensuring business interest and development.”