A Week on the High Street - December 4th

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Pieminister, the Bristol-based pie and mash restaurant, have continued their expansion plans opening their 16th site in Exeter and signing for a second outlet in Manchester.  Founded in 2003 and employing around 300 people they are understood to be looking for four more restaurants to open next year. Target sites are understood to be Bath, Brighton, Cambridge, Coventry, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Reading, Southampton and York.


Leon, the natural fast food chain, is to add two further Extra Services sites to their motorway services estate.  Taking their total to six the new sites will be on the M40 near Beaconsfield and on the M25 at Cobham.  Leon has also trademarked the name Just Happens To Be Vegan for restaurant use which is currently the tagline used across the company’s grocery Mayo range. 


BK UK Group, the master franchisee for Burger King in the UK has acquired an eight-strong portfolio based in Oxford and Bristol from the Silver family.  The acquisition has taken Burger King UK company-owned portfolio to 100 restaurants of the total UK estate of 515 sites.


Peacocks, the value fashion retailer, is set to buy Bonmarché out of administration, as they emerge as the preferred bidder for the struggling retailer.  Administrators will still close 30 underperforming stores by December 11th but the remaining 285 stores will continue to trade and the “vast majority” of those are expected to be kept as part of any deal with Peacocks.


Following a fall in half-year earnings fast-fashion retailer QUIZ Plc has said it will be closing additional loss-making stores.  The company currently operates 73 stores and 171 concessions across the UK and has already shut seven concessions with other closures planned for after the key Christmas sales season.




Construction work commenced this week on the one billion pound project to transform Swansea city centre.   The first phase, the £135m Swansea Central cultural district, will include a 3,500-capacity live performance arena and conference centre, a 15-room hotel, a costal park, pedestrian bridge, new homes, office and food and beverage space. 


NewRiver REIT has added the Bravo Inns portfolio to its Hawthorn Leisure platform in a deal worth £17.9m.   The 44-strong wet-led community pubs are predominantly in the North West of England and will take the pub management company’s total number of pubs to more than 700.


The Crown Estate has released CGI flythrough footage of the 140,000 sq ft expansion of Fosse Park in Leicester.  The £168m investment will see a transformation that will create new retail and food spaces along with communal areas, event spaces, improved landscaping and parking and enhanced accessibility.


Maidstone Borough Council has acquired Lockmeadow, a major commercial leisure facility that runs alongside the River Medway on the edge of Maidstone town centre for a price of £19m.  Spanning 141,329 sq ft the leisure park is anchored by Odeon Cinema with Greene King, Frankie & Benny’s and David Lloyd among other occupiers in situ.


Investment company Capital & Counties (Capco) has bought two mixed-use blocks in London’s Covent Garden.  They acquired the first site, 5-6 Henrietta Street, for £34m spanning 14,300 sq ft including a 8,200 sq ft restaurant let to Din Tai Fung as well as four floors of office space and the second acquisition, Sussex Mansions in Maiden Lane, for £17.8m comprising of 13,300 sq ft, the ground floor of which is let to Franco Manca but also includes office and residential space.




Chelsea will see two pop-ups:  Seren, the silk experts, will open its UK debut at 279 Fulham Road, offering pieces including jumpsuits, playsuits and dresses; Artisan resort-wear brand, An Indian Summer returns for its third on the Kings Road.  British outdoor brand Shackleton has opened its first bricks and mortar venture with a 2,000 sq ft shop in Duke Street Mayfair.  Selfridges are teaming up with Instagram from 5th – 15th December housing The Instagram Edit that will feature fashion, jewellery, beauty and homeware brands that have all been built on Instagram.   Liverpool One and Harrods will see two New York-based luxury brands open:   Kate Spade is opening a 2,625 sq ft boutique on Peter’s Lane in Liverpool One offering a selection of the brands collection; Retrofête, known for their vintage couture-inspired pieces, will launch within Harrods offering party season must-haves from its latest collections . 



Westfield London has opened a festive themed doggy drop off service called The Merry Mutts Motel.  Designed to help dog owners with busy social calendars to ensure their dogs get to socialise too.  The service will raise funds for the Wild at Heart Foundation with 100% of donations going towards international dog rescue and adoption projects, neutering programmes and research into new sterilisation techniques.


Aiming to reduce their landfill waste by 30%, health food and natural remedy retailer Holland and Barrett are to offer products past their best before end date at a discounted cost.  The trial will see the products on sale in a dedicated space within 25 stores in the Devon and Cornwall regions.


Resilience in the retail and leisure market


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