A week on the high street - 4th August 2021
Date published: Date modified: 2021-08-04

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The world’s first men’s makeup store has opened on London’s Carnaby Street. War Paint for Men, which previously opened a makeup counter at a John Lewis store, aims to enhance men’s confidence and remove the stigma around men wearing makeup, with a range of tinted moisturisers, concealers and beard and brow gels. The new store will include a barber through a partnership with The Lions Barber Collective, a not-for-profit organization that offers barbers trained in mental health support, along with digital services aimed at helping customers match products. Founder Danny Gray said: “I’m so proud and excited to be opening the world’s first men’s makeup brand store in London. For me it was so important that this wasn’t just about opening a shop to sell products; it was about creating somewhere for people to have an experience.”

Pret could launch coffee vending machines as part of plans to further address pandemic-driven changes to its usual customer base. The brand has trademarked the name ‘Pret Express’, and it would join Costa, Carluccio’s and Starbucks in offering coffee vending machines. Jeffrey Young, chief executive of Allegra World Coffee Portal, suggested that offering coffee machines was an excellent solution to staff shortages, with the subsector already having grown by between 10 and 20 per cent this year. He added: “You now have a situation where in a train station, for example, it might not be economical to have a fully fledged barista café while the opportunity to put coffee into a train station that can operate 24 hours is becoming more compelling.”

The number of shuttered stores continues to rise in the UK, according to the latest BRC- Local Data Company Vacancy Monitor. The figures, published last week, also show that shopping centres have seen the biggest impact with nearly one in five units empty. Fashion retailers contributed to the vacancies, chiefly from the Arcadia and Debenhams administrations. LDC commercial director Lucy Stainton said: “Vacancy across GB high streets, retail parks and shopping centres continued to rise in Q2 2021, however the increase was half that of the same period in 2020, alluding to the fact that, like the pandemic, there is hope that we are over the worst.”

Food-to-go bakery chain Greggs has said it plans to open 100 new stores by the end of 2021 after an unexpectedly strong recovery in trade. Greggs saw strong trade in suburban areas and local high streets, supported by delivery and drive-thru sales. Chief executive Roger Whiteside said: “Greggs once again showed its resilience in a challenging first half, emerging from the lockdown months in a strong position and rebuilding sales as social restrictions were progressively relaxed.”


The JKS Restaurants group are helping to revive London’s Arcade Food Theatre as the Arcade Food Hall. The group, who are behind restaurants such as Gymkhana and Hoppers, are partnering with the Arcade team to revive the space on Tottenham Court Road, which included Flat Iron and Chotto Matte as well as other restaurants and bars. The space remained closed even after lockdown restrictions lifted, as it had previously failed to draw its predicted 1,000 customers a day. JKS will help to perform an overhaul of the site, replacing all restaurants with a diverse range of brands from their portfolio. JKS CEO Jyotin Sethi said: “We’re delighted to finally reveal the new Arcade at Centre Point. We’ve always had the aspiration to create a venue that hosts a breadth of creative new brands as well as fostering up and coming talent within the hospitality industry.”

Businesses across the country have submitted over 3,300 applications for pavement licenses, according to PwC data. The licenses, introduced by the government in July 2020, aim to help businesses in England serve more customers outside and offset the impact of restrictions on trade. More than a third of applications were submitted to Westminster, which hosts over 3,700 bars, restaurants and pubs. Zelf Hussain, retail restructuring partner at PwC, said: “The last social distancing restrictions are lifting, but we’ve seen businesses encouraging customers to keep using their outdoor spaces... One seat, or cover, at a casual dining operator can generate around £6800 a year."

Restaurant and delivery groups such as Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims are joining a government initiative to encourage COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Pizza Pilgrims is in talks with the government to offer one of its sites as a drop-in vaccination clinic that will offer a free slice of pizza for attendees. The government are also discussing incentives such as vouchers or discount codes with other businesses, including delivery apps. Pizza Pilgrims founder Thom Elliot said: “By making getting your jab as easy as grabbing a slice of pizza, hopefully we can help our teams and customers get both their first and second doses as easily and quickly as possible.”


Sainsbury’s and Ballymore have agreed on a strategic partnership to develop a site at London’s Ladbroke Grove. The 18-acre site would involve a mix of retail, leisure, community and office space with a 130,000sq ft Sainsbury’s store offering increased capacity for home delivery. Ballymore chairman Sean Mulryan said: “Partnerships like this one show the type of innovative approach needed to tackle London’s housing shortage. We are pleased to be a step closer to submitting an application and realising our ambitions of a mixed-use scheme that will transform the area.”

Openings and closures

Vegan curry house SpiceBox is to open its second site in London’s Leytonstone this autumn; Restaurateur Samyukta Nair is to launch Chinese restaurant MiMi Mei Fair in Mayfair this month; Canadian-inspired restaurant and bar West 4th is to open in London’s Parsons Green next month; Restaurant and wine bar Hackney Coterie has opened near Hackney Downs; Udon noodle brand Koya is to open new restaurant Koya Ko in September; Brothers Pub Co hopes to open its first ‘social pub concept’ in Northampton by the end of the year; “Produce-driven” Italian restaurant Celentano’s opens in Glasgow this month; Cuban restaurant Bar La Rampa is to open in London’s Fitzrovia later this month; Oxford restaurant and wine bar Wilding is opening a site in Salisbury this month.
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