A Week on the High Street

January 29th 2020

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Following the launch of 29 beauty halls last year Boots has revealed plans to launch an additional 60 revamped beauty halls across their stores in the UK. It also saw the retailer launch 15 new beauty brands and remove the traditional beauty counters seeing new fittings which included open furniture and trend-driven zones, play stations, discovery areas and live demonstration zones.

Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG)
has revealed plans to kick-start their ‘very ambitious’ UK expansion by looking to work with potential partners. Having signed a master franchise agreement in 2018 the company has opened six restaurants as well as converting several of its existing Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner sites to the brand. 


SME lender ThinCats has agreed a seven-figure funding deal with burrito bar El Mexicana which will allow the business to acquire new sites and modernise facilities with self-service kiosks. Established in 2011, El Mexicana is aiming to expand from the 17 existing sites to 22 in the next two years.


Crown Partnership, who bought fried chicken chain Bird out of administration last year, have opened a 40-cover site in London’s Brixton, the first of several planned for 2020. Signature dishes such as chicken and waffles with honey butter and Canadian maple syrup will be served alongside several new meat-free options.


The Covent Garden estate is to see a selection of new retailers opening: Jigsaw is upsizing from their current Floral Street store into Grade II listed Carriage Hall. American Vintage is also opening a flagship site in the Summer. Parisian label A.P.C. opened last month and British independent brands Strathberry and Lulu Guinness will open in the Market Building and King Street respectively.


Toy and novelty gift retailer Hawkin’s Bazaar has gone into administration leaving around 180 jobs at risk. Founded and headquartered in Norwich in the 1970’s the company operates 20 stores across the UK and Ireland which will continue to trade until further notice with clearance discounts and other promotions.


All 18 of Handmade Burger Co.’s restaurants have closed following owners The Burger Chain going into administration for the 2nd time as attempts to secure a sale failed. Having fallen into administration back in 2017 the business was able to continue trading as a buyer was found for 20 of the 29 sites, unfortunately the closure of the remaining restaurants has now resulted in 283 job losses.


Following a surge in sales thanks to the rising demand for ethical, sustainable and healthy products, grocery retailer Planet Organic has announced plans to extend its portfolio from 7 stores to 18 within the next 5 years.



The 40-storey Quay House redevelopment in Canary Wharf has been granted planning permission and will see Rockwell and Firethorn Trust start work on the site later this year.  The development will offer a 400-bedroom hotel, 279 serviced apartments alongside dockside leisure facilities.


The City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee has approved plans for the mixed-use development in London’s Holborn submitted by Dominvs Group.  The 11-storey development will have a 39,826 sq ft ‘green wall’ that will generate seven tonnes of oxygen and extract nine tonnes of CO2 annually. The 382-bed hotel will be built alongside a 40,267 sq ft of office space and a landscaped public roof garden.


in other news…..

Tesco have pledged to remove 350 tonnes of plastic working with the likes of Heinz and Green Giant to remove plastic wrapping from its multipack tins: Adidas has pledged to sustainably source more than half of the polyester materials it uses by 2024 resulting in the production of 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes made from plastic waste; Sainsbury’s has pledged to invest £1 billion towards making its operations ‘net zero’ by 2040 a decade earlier than the UK’s legal goal. To be achieved through reducing carbon emissions, food waste, plastic packaging and water usage the plan will also see an increase in recycling, biodiversity and healthy and sustainable eating; Just Eat have agreed a nationwide deal with McDonald’s to become their second exclusive delivery partner following the recent agreement with Greggs; Ikea have announced that its home assembly service will be rolled out across 27 UK sites to help their ‘busy’ customers. The service is in partnership with online marketplace TaskRabbit.

Resilience in the retail and leisure market


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