A Week on the High Street

February 12th

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Retail and leisure

TFG London has signed up to intu Lakeside for the first of a new concept that brings Hobbs, Whistles, Phase 8 and Damsel in a Dress together in one store whilst also signing 3 of its brands to The Cornhill Quarter in Lincoln. Phase 8, Whistles and Hobbs will also open separate stores for the first time in the city.

 

Catch, the West Yorkshire-based seafood restaurant, has added two sites to their portfolio. Putting a ‘modern but respectful twist on the classic fish and chip restaurant’ the new sites in Westwood Lane and Street Lane add to the existing sites in Halifax, Holmfirth and Harrogate. 

 

Harrogate-headquartered cashmere brand Pure Collection has called in administrators. All eight stores have been closed but the business will continue to trade through its e-commerce platform whilst new investment is sought. The stores were located in Braintree, Guildford, London, Marlow, Shrewsbury, Tunbridge Wells and York.

 

Flower Burger, the Milan-based vegan burger chain has signed a master franchise agreement that will see the brand opening of more than 40 sites in the UK. Gerry’s Group, who also oversee the Wok to Walk franchise will be working towards opening 45 Flower Burger restaurants in ‘key cities’ over the next 10 years.

 

As it opens its 13th site within The Springs retail and leisure park in Leeds, vegan chain Humpit, has announced further expansion plans. The hummus and pita bar concept is planning to open up to 30 sites across the UK over the next five years as well as the chain’s first international location this year.  Flagship stores will open in Manchester’s Arndale Centre this spring and a central London site later in the year.

 

Having more than doubled its crowdfunding target raising £1.6m grab and go chain Hop Vietnamese is looking to open around 20 locations as well as a rollout of dark kitchens in the capital and other major cities over the next four years. Currently operating five London stores, the company says it is negotiating with a concession operator to open sites in UK transport hubs. 

 

Investment

Supermarket Income REIT and an unidentified institutional investor are in discussions to form a partnership to acquire a minority stake portfolio of 26 supermarkets from British Land. The properties, that are all let to Sainsbury’s, are located across the UK and form part of a joint venture between British Land and Aviva Investors and Sainsbury’s - British Land’s 26% being valued at over £105m.

 

Within 24 hours intu announced that it was in talks with a major Hong Kong-based retail property investor, Link Real Estate Investment Trust, seeing the share price climb almost 30%. When it pulled out of talks the shares then fell by 27.1%. intu said it ‘remains engaged’ with shareholders and potential new investors over a possible equity raise. 

 

for the romantics...

Costa Coffee is giving away a £5,000 ruby gemstone to 5 lucky customers ordering their signature Ruby Cocoa Hot Chocolate who swipe right on the Deliveroo app between the 4th and 14th February; Moonpig and KFC have launched a limited edition ‘Scratch N Sniff’ Valentine’s Day card for those who have found someone they love more than KFC; Revolution Beauty is encouraging singletons to embrace Palentines Day for best pals to hang out and treat each other with heart shaped blushers, highlighters, palettes and concealers.  

 

in other news...

Marks & Spencer have extended its Mobile Pay Go service to a further 50 branches mostly in London; Poundland extends PEP&CO kids’ clothing range to 50 of its shop-in-shops; Sandwich chain Pret A Manger will open four new Veggie Pret stores by the Summer; Sainsbury’s first On the Go city convenience store concept has opened in their Mansion House site with nine more stores to open across the UK in the coming months;  Burger chain Five Guys is ‘actively looking at’ vegan options to add to its offering.

Resilience in the retail and leisure market

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