A Week on the High Street - July 3rd 2019

10 July 2019 by Local Data Company

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LEISURE

After falling into administration and fighting off a bid from rival barbecue brand Temper, Red’s True Barbecue has been bought by Tokyo Industries.  The smokehouse brand’s Liverpool restaurant will close but the Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Headingley sites will continue to trade and the investment will be used to expand into the UK festival market.  Red’s sister company, Legitimate Industries, which is a microbrewery, has also been acquired.

 

US burger chain Five Guys has revealed plans to open between 10 and 15 new restaurants in the UK this year despite posting a pre-tax loss for 2018.  At the end of 2018 the chain had 88 sites in the UK and although two sites have closed this year, they have secured a £100m bank facility from Goldman Sachs which will fund the UK and European expansion.

 

The London Resort and Paramount Pictures have reignited their partnership two years after the initial deal fell through.  The film studio is planning to bring their Mission Impossible, The Godfather and A Quiet Place brands to life at the theme park in Kent. The heavily delayed scheme had originally had an opening date of 2019, but this has now been pushed back to 2024.

 

RETAIL

Online fashion retailer, Boohoo, has reportedly secured its first physical retail space taking up a former Maplin unit in London’s West End.  The 5,300 sq ft site features a showroom as well as event and office spaces and marks the retailers first move into bricks-and-mortar.

 

VPZ, the UK’s largest vaping retailer has revealed ambitions expansion plans that will see it open around 200 stores in the next three years.  The retailer that started in Edinburgh in 2012, currently operates 125 stores and employs 500 people, said it would create 1,000 jobs tripling its current workforce. 

 

Footwear retailer Office which currently operates 101 sites across the UK have confirmed it is trying to restructure £45m of debt and may have to enter into a CVA.  The retailer is owned by South African holding company Truworths International who bought the chain in 2015 for around £250m.  A CVA could see the closure of some of its stores.

 

Despite the 2018 pre-tax loss of £1.4m, German footwear retailer Deichmann saw turnover increase to £98m for the same period this year and has announced plans to expand its UK store portfolio.  Having opened nine new stores in the last 12 months they are preparing to expand their portfolio and launch a new range with Rita Ora.

 

Hush, the online fashion and lifestyle brand has continued its pop-up strategy across the country with two new sites in Ilkley, Yorkshire and McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks.  The first pop-ups were seen in London, Leeds and Scotland last year and Bluewater, Kent earlier this year. The campaign will run until January next year.

 

A day after Philip Day withdrew his bid for Bonmarché, one of the retailer’s largest shareholders has sold its 10.8% stake to Day for £600,000. Spectre Holdings, Day’s investment arm, purchased 52.4% of Bonmarché in April triggering a takeover bid, but has since said it is closing its offer to buy the remaining shares at 11.45p due to its uncertain future.  The offer will close on 12th July but until that time it is obliged to buy any shares that become available.

 

A week after its Italian parent company, Stefanel’s UK arm has fallen into administration. The Italian womenswear retailer, that has shops in Covent Garden and Regent Street in London, will be wound up by CVR Global.

 

Bathroom retailer Bathstore has entered into administration but will continue to trade while BDO LLP, the appointed administrators, seek a buyer.  The company, whose head office is in Welwyn Garden City, employs 531 staff and operates 135 stores across the UK. Whilst customer orders are expected to be satisfied it is understood all installation services will cease. Wren Kitchens, the UK’s No 1 Kitchen Specialist and fastest growing bricks and mortar retailer is offering employment opportunities to the staff at Bathstore.

 

PROPERTY

LXi REIT has gone on an acquisition spree following its £200m equity issue last month.  The acquisitions, totalling £135m, have been made from separate vendors and developers and include both pre-let forward fundings and built assets.  The acquisitions are: an Aldi in St Albans; a Travelodge in Cumbria; seven Q-Park car parks across the UK; an Eddie Stobart distribution facility in Cannock; a 14-strong Greene King pub portfolio and a Dobbie Garden Centre in West Yorkshire.

 

With funding from the government, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Kirlees Council and private investors a £250m town centre redevelopment plan for Huddersfield has been unveiled that will see the amount of retail reduced to improve the leisure offer. The ‘cultural heart’ will include a library, museum and music venue in the Piazza and Queensgate as well as part of the Piazza Shopping Centre being knocked down to create a ‘large family-friendly open space’.  A new cinema and hotel will also feature.

 

Online beauty and wellbeing retailer the Hut Group has acquired a 12,000 sq ft space occupying the ground floor and basement levels of the iconic 100 King Street building in Manchester city centre.  The ‘World of THG’ will be a destination to showcase the retailer’s brands including MyBag, Coggles, All Sole and Lookfantastic.com.

 

Developer North Star in partnership with York Archaeological Trust and Native have revealed plans for a £150m mixed-use development in York that will feature a new roman visitor attraction.  The Roman Quarter will have 235,000 sq ft of space that will incorporate a hotel, 228 apartments, 33,000 sq ft for the Roman attraction and 15,500 sq ft for new cafés, retail and restaurants.

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