RETAIL AND LEISURE
Details have been released of the first 14 locations that will receive funding from the Future of the High Street Fund. Swinton Town centre, Thornton Heath, Cheadle, Rushmoor, Stirchley, Accrington Town Centre, Kendal, Friargate, Coventry City Centre, Hartlepool Town Centre, Ellesmere Port Town Centre, West Bromwich Town Centre, Huyton Town Centre and Withington District Centre are 14 of the 20 pilot areas that will benefit from bespoke support and guidance from the new High Street Task Force.
Crussh Fit Food and Juice Bars is rolling out its convenience and food-to-go offering in Sainsbury’s stores across the UK this week. Following the trial in 61 stores across London in May 2019 a selection of products will now be available in 300 Sainsbury’s stores strengthening its expansion into areas outside traditional high street locations.
Mowgli Street Food, the Liverpool founded Indian restaurant chain, is to open its 11th site in Bristol in the coming weeks with a view to opening three more in 2020. The first target sites are in Leeds, Edinburgh, and Glasgow with longer term targets in Newcastle, Preston, Bath, Brighton and Coventry.
Camerons Brewery have increased their retail managed pub estate by 5 venues following the acquisition of the Bar Soba group. The sites, three in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh and Leeds, take their portfolio to 34.
Aldi has announced further expansion in Scotland with plans for six stores this year. Two stores in Glasgow, and others in Edinburgh, Livingston, Haddington and Stewarton, along with the discount supermarkets new £25m storage and chill facility in Bathgate is expected to be fully operational by the end of April and will create around 200 jobs.
Debenhams has revealed the locations of the 19 stores that will shut this month: Altrincham, Birmingham (The Fort), Kirkcaldy, Walton-on-Thames, Chatham, Great Yarmouth, Slough, Stockton-on-Tees, Welwyn, Witney, Ashford, Canterbury, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Southport, Southsea, Wimbledon and Wandsworth. It is understood this tranche of closures will result in around 660 job losses with the next tranche expected in 2021 seeing the closure of a further 28 stores.
As M&G continues to dispose of assets within its M&G Property Portfolio, the company has announced that the fund’s authorised corporate director has taken the decision to temporarily suspend the fund “until further notice”. In the interest of protecting investors the ACD will report on the status of the suspension on a monthly basis and clients and customers will be notified in advance if the fund reopens. M&G sold Ravenside Retail Park in Edmonton this week for £51.4m to an unnamed buyer.
Arcadia Group’s flagship Topshop Topman store in London’s Westfield Stratford is to close after the lease expires. The two-storey shop that opened in 2011 was not part of the retailer’s seven company voluntary arrangements that were approved in June.
CVAS AND ADMINISTRATIONS
Fashion and lifestyle retailer, Joy, has filed notice of its intention to appoint administrators just two years since its founders bought it out of administration. The chain, that operates seven stores and employs 182 staff, was founded by Joy Maureen Chadha and first collapsed in 2008 when Chadna bought the company back saving 12 stores.
Retailers and leisure operators alike are launching ranges of vegan food in support of Veganuary: Greggs vegan steak bake followed the huge success of the vegan sausage roll last year and had people queuing out the door; Subway launched the Meatless Meatball Marinara; Pizza Hut wins the best bun award for their new Pepperphoni Pizza; KFC is rolling out the bespoke Quorn fillet burger with the famous blend of 11 herbs and spices; Wagamama introduced watermelon tuna joining last year’s vegan egg; Waitrose are doubling its range with over 30 new own-label and branded products; Co-op unveiled their ‘biggest rollout of vegan products’ with the new brand Gro; Aldi are launching the new Loma Linda Fishless Tuno as well as Vegan Eat & Go options; Sainsbury’s stores will see The Moving Mountains range of sausage burgers, sausages and hotdogs made from 100% raw plant protein. Not to mention Burger King that launched the plant-based Whopper which missed the vegan mark as it is cooked on the same grill as its meaty counterpart!