A Week on the High Street - December 18th

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RETAIL AND LEISURE

Vaping brand Red Box Vape has continued its acquisition programme with the purchase of a counterpart, Vapour Lounge which has five stores across Scotland.  The latest acquisition takes their new or recently acquired stores total to 24 across this year and is part of the plan to open at least 100 by the end of 2020.

 

Virgin Money has launched the first of a trio of retail stores in Manchester following the rebranding of 3 B Works sites, the other two will be in Birmingham and London. As part of its plans to take on the ‘Big Five’ banks it has also launched its first digital current account and banking app. 

 

Total Fitness, the private equity-backed health club group, has expanded with the acquisition of Pro-Fit Personal Training.  Manchester-headquartered Pro-Fit Personal Training has 100,000 members and 150 self-employed personal trainers, all of which will help Total Fitness grow and develop its offering.

 

Natuzzi, the Italian founded furniture retailer, is set to open two new sites on Boxing Day, taking their total UK portfolio to 20th. The standalone stores will open at Teeside Park in Stockton-on-Tees and Octagon Retail Park in Stoke-on-Trent. 

 

Self-storage chain Storage King has acquired five new stores from Flexi Store Self Storage Limited taking their portfolio to 21.  The sites, located in Dudley, Nottingham, West Bromwich, Shrewsbury and Warrington, increase the company’s owner-operated Group Land Assets by 190,333 sq ft to a total of almost 900,000 sq ft.

 

A franchisee partnership that will be for an initial period of five years has been agreed between Boots, one of the largest healthcare businesses in the world, and Mothercare that will see Boots stocking Mothercare-branded clothing, home and travel products.  

 

INVESTMENT

Marathon Asset Management has sold its Marathon hotel portfolio to Thai investment company DTGO for a sum believed to be around £450m. The portfolio of 17 hotels is based across the UK and is operated under a variety of brands including Doubletree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Crowne Plaza.

 

CVAS AND ADMINISTRATIONS

Seven weeks after the collapse of hair salon chain Regis and Supercuts more than 1,000 jobs have been saved following a deal that will see The Bushnell Investment Group buy 140 of the 200 outlets that were put under threat when Regis UK went into administration. 60 sites have closed with the loss of 200 jobs.

 

Beales, the Bournemouth-based department store has launched a formal sale process as part of a strategic and financial review. The chain was founded in 1881 and employs around 1,300 staff in 22 stores across the UK and another 300 staff in concessions. 

 

Book retailer The Book People has entered into administration appointing PwC as administrator whilst a buyer is sought. Founded in 1998 in Surrey, the business has faced stiff competition from Amazon and other online retailers. The business will continue to trade with no immediate plans to make any of the 393 staff redundant. 

 

Retail Park & Shopping Centre Openings

The Springs, the retail and leisure destination within Thorpe Park Leeds has signed Café Nero,  EEThe WorksShoe Zone and designer furniture store Lola Rose Interiors. Liverpool One has seen a new Mint Velvet and a Kate Spade pop-up. The Beacon in Eastbourne has added Jamaica Blue, Phase Eight and the Bok shop to their £85m extension. Seven Dials has launched three international fashion and accessory retailers, Scandinavian brands Nudie Jeans and Rains and Indian leatherwear label Kompanero. 

 

 in other news…..

James Hall & Co, Spar wholesaler for the North of England has donated 432 festive presents for vulnerable children living in poverty. Organised in support of Rock FM’s Mission Christmas campaign, staff across the company have been fundraising and donating teddy bears and toys in a bid to prevent any child waking up on Christmas morning without a present. Similarly, the Central England Co-op Christmas Toybox Appeal has collected 12,000 presents that will be shared out via local charities, community groups and food banks as well as major hospitals and hospices.

 

VF-owned outerwear and footwear retailer Timberland has announced a partnership with Treedom to plant 26,000 trees in Ghana.  As part of the brand’s sustainability policies Timberland has launched a new commitment to plant 50 million trees in the next 5 years. The trees will be part of the ‘Great Green Wall Project’, an 8,000 km long forest project spanning the entire width of Africa.

Resilience in the retail and leisure market

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