£150 Million Fosse Park Expansion Plans Given Go Ahead

Fosse Park's New Design Outside Outfit Store


Plans for Fosse Park to be expanded, were recently approved at a Blaby District Council Planning Committee.


Castle Acres will be a retail and leisure development next to Fosse Park where Everards site is currently located. However, it has the potential to be fully integrated with Fosse Park to create a single, expanded retail destination.


The project will include a range of new shops, restaurants and cafes covering approximately 288,000sq ft of floor space.


“In addition, Castle Acres could create up to 1,000 full-time jobs for the local people therefore benefiting the local economy. Two confirmed occupiers include a 90,000sq ft landmark Next store and a 34,000sq ft TK Maxx store..


Furthermore, the new car park’s layout will allow for over 850 cars. Included in this space will be 30 wheelchair bays and 12 parent/child spaces.


Crown Estate, owners of Fosse Park, Everards, the site owners, and Enderby-based Next will all be involved in the £150 million development.


“The approval of Castle Acres is excellent news for the district,” said Jane Toman, chief executive of Blaby District Council. “Fosse Park is one of the biggest shopping areas in Britain and we are proud to have it in our area.”


Fosse Park already covers around 580,000sq ft of shops and attracts more than 10 million shoppers a year.


The approval for Castle Acres followed an 18-month process, but construction won’t start till autumn next year, while the opening date won’t be till around Christmas time in 2019.


A birds eye view of the Fosse Park area
A = Fosse Park
B = Land for Everards Meadows
C = Land for Castle Acres (Everards current location)


Everards Food and Drink Park


The expansion will see Everards relocate to a new development. In order to fund the relocation Everards wants to sell its 12-acre site to Fosse Park owners the Crown Estate.


They plan to move across to the other side of Soar Valley Way and create a new state-of-the-art food and drink park, Everards Meadows.


More than 300 people will be eventually employed as a result of the relocation. This is because there will be a new brewery as well as offices, tasting rooms, a pub, a restaurant, a new retail shop and a cycling centre.


The planning permission was approved back in April.

First Mini Habitat Store in Sainsbury’s Opens

Habitat Mini Store


Since Sainsbury’s £1.4bn takeover of Argos and Habitat owner Home Retail Group earlier this year, plans to introduce the two brand concessions were accelerated. The new 61,000sq ft flagship Sainsbury’s store in Nine Elms, London, is the first to house the two brand concessions.


Within Sainsbury’s Nine Elms supermarket is Habitat’s first Mini Habitat. Furthermore, there are plans to launch another four UK stores by early 2017. The new Mini Habitat stores in Sainsbury’s are set to launch in Reading, Epsom, St Albans and Solihull. While plans for Argos are to either launch an Argos concession or click and collect point in every Sainsbury’s outlet across the UK. In addition, Sainsbury’s has plans to relocate existing Argos stores within its store network.


To help boost its multichannel growth strategy, the furnishings retailer, Habitat, is looking to create a network of regional touch point stores.


More than 600 products will be found within the Mini Habitat stores. Also there will be a range of price points across furniture, lighting, textiles, upholstery and homewares.


“This new relationship with Sainsbury’s offers the habitat brand significant growth potential,” says MD of Habitat, Clare Askem. “We’ve seen our brand evolve rapidly over the last few years and the opportunity to create a new network of local stores with a new national partner that will support our multichannel business strategy is a really exciting prospect. We’ll be working closely with Sainsbury’s on these pilot stores to understand the full potential of this format and gauge customer reaction but I’m confident that our brand will connect with Sainsbury’s shoppers and make Habitat more accessible to shoppers both on the high street and online.”


LEGO Flagship Store to Open in London

Concept Visual of new flagship store


London’s Leicester Square is set to be the home for the new LEGO flagship store. The new landmark store will be the biggest LEGO Brand Retail Store in the world. This is due to the store standing two floors tall and spreading over 5,420 sq ft. This will consequently make it a must see tourist attraction for anyone who finds themselves in the capital.


Scale models of both the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are set to sell in the store. The Big Ben model will even include a scale version of the Big Ben bell. More than 200,000 bricks are being used to build the Big Ben model. Therefore it will take an estimated 2,280 hours to complete. Once completed, the model will dominate both levels.


Furthermore, the new flagship store will boast interactive technology. This technology has not yet been seen in any of the currently existing LEGO stores. In addition to the technology, the store will present a host of other exciting features. These will include a LEGO retail environment, exclusive product sets, hands-on building areas, building demonstrations and a Pick & Build Brick Wall.


“We want to inspire and develop children across the globe through creative LEGO play experiences, and our LEGO Brand Retail Stores allows children, parents and fans to explore the many different LEGO products while getting a truly unique and immersive experience of the LEGO brand,” said Loren Shuster, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at the LEGO Group.


“I am looking forward with excitement to November 17th, where children and parents are invited to experience a world beyond their imagination as they venture for the first time inside the new store. I am sure that the unique brick-built symbols of London featured in the store will excite fans worldwide as well as in the UK.”


Lester the tea-drinking LEGO Minifigure will also be exclusive to the Leicester Square store.


The opening is set to take place on November 17th.


The LEGO Group


The LEGO Group currently owns and operates 130 LEGO Brand Stores worldwide. The new central London location is set to be the 14th in the UK alone. The Danish family-owned company also has several amusement parks around the world.


While it was found back in 1932 it wasn’t until 2015 that it became the world’s largest toy company, in terms of revenue.


Liverpool ONE Announces New Signings

On terrace of Liverpool ONE


Later this year three new international brands will be opening on Paradise Street due to shopping centre, Liverpool ONE signing them.


Australian stationery brand Smiggle has signed up for a 700 sq ft store. Another brand that has signed up is Swiss chocolatier Lindt. They will be making their debut next door with a 1,000 sq ft space. While opposite will be Jack Wolfskin, the German outdoor clothing and equipment brand. They will be opening a 3,000 sq ft store.


In addition to the international brands, opening above Lindt and Smiggle will be Cosy Club. The restaurant offers a relaxed experience. There is casual dining and drinking from a lazy breakfast to family lunch or a night out. It creates a sense of being somewhere special with a hint of nostalgia.


“These latest signings, three of which are international brands that have singled out Liverpool ONE for flagship stores in the region, highlights the sustained strength of demand. Following on from the highly successful opening of Victoria’s Secret last month, they reinforce Liverpool ONE’s position as one of the leading retail and leisure destinations in the UK,” says Miles Dunnett from management company Grosvenor Europe.


Liverpool ONE has had an invigorating year which has so far seen The White Company and Bravissimo sign for new stores. Furthermore, the opening of Victoria’s Secret on South John Street brought much excitement.


All four brands are said to be open in time for Christmas.


Liverpool ONE


Liverpool ONE opened back on 29th May 2008 in Liverpool. It is a shopping, residential and leisure complex.


The complex has over 160 stores, bars and restaurants, a 14-screen cinema, an indoor adventure golf course and a 5-acre park. As a result, it is the largest open air shopping centre in the UK and is the fifth largest overall.


IKEA to Open London Pop-Up Restaurant

IKEA Presents The Dining Club

Design for the storefront of the dining club


IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings retailer, are to open a DIY pop-up restaurant in London. From 10 -25 September 2016, the N&C showrooms on Shoreditch High Street will be transformed into a ‘do-it-yourself’ dining experience. The restaurant will enable customers the opportunity to host their own diner party with up to 20 guests. The so-called Dining Club will be completely free and you won’t have to worry about the washing up!


Customers can book a slot to host a brunch, lunch or dinner party, with their friends/family. They will take over the restaurant, choosing from a range of modern sharing dishes to cook. After the entertainment of you and your 20 guests working together with a head chef to cook the meal, you will finally be able to dig your teeth into your very own delicious dish.


First of all, once you arrive, IKEA food experts will help you choose the menu for a three-course meal. There’s a range of everything from ceviche to carpaccio, smoked fish to pork belly and white chocolate cheesecake or Rulltårta for dessert.


“The dining club is an exciting venture for IKEA which encompasses the sentiment that cooking together makes that everyday functional task of eating more enjoyable and adds wonder to our everyday lives at home,” IKEA UK and Ireland country marketing manager, Laurent Tiersen said. “It’s a natural progression from the cooks TVC and sits with a campaign we are labelling “It Starts With the Food”, which is all about inspiring people to rediscover the joy of the kitchen, after our insights showed that people are spending less and less time cooking and eating together.”


While you socialise with your group after the meal, the washing up will be taken care of.




Due to high demand the number of slots available will be limited. The experience is restricted to 3 slots per day during its run, opening at 10am and closing at 10pm.


For those customers without a booking, there will also be an IKEA shop with homewares for sale.


The Dining Club is located at…

N&C Showrooms

3-10 Shoreditch High Street

E1 6PG

Selfridges Opens reFASHIONed Theatre

Selfridges Shakespeare reFASHIONed window


To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Selfridges has unveiled a 122-seat auditorium in the department store’s Oxford Street flagship. This week the pop-up in-store theatre opened to shoppers and theatre-goers alike.


The auditorium can be found on the lower ground floor in the Oxford Street store, which is the second largest retail premises in the UK. Over a five week period, the reFASHIONed theatre will be showcasing a production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The project is a collaboration between Selfridges and established young British theatre company, The Faction.


“This play offers a world in which fashion, appearance and social standing are of paramount importance and rumour, gossip and insinuation can be lethal,” said Mark Leipacher, director.


“Everyone at The Faction is delighted to be collaborating with Selfridges to create this new production for the Shakespeare reFASHIONed project. It’s an ambitious, innovative and wild idea – exactly the way we should be celebrating Shakespeare 400.”


It is said the run of performances is to be the penultimate stage of Selfridges’ store-wide campaign. In celebration of the world’s most famous playwright, Selfridges has hosted a variety of events in-store throughout the summer. The events include recitals by celebrities, Shakespeare-inspired collections from the likes of Alexander McQueen, and a run of campaign windows.


Selfridges Shakespeare Window Display


The department store believes this is the first ever fully-fledged theatre within a department store.


Tickets at full price cost £20.

John Lewis to Invest £9m in Beauty Department

John Lewis acts on rising demand for beauty ranges

John Lewis Department Store


John Lewis has launched a £9m investment to go into its beauty department across several branches. The retailer is looking to supercharge its beauty business as a result of the fashion department being out sold by face creams, makeup and perfumes. Furthermore, the development will include the introduction of new brands.


Stores in Cambridge, Cribbs Causeway, and Bluewater will have their beauty halls increased by about 50%. While stores in Cardiff, Stratford, Peter Jones and Cheadle are also receiving investments in their beauty halls.


Also included in the plans is the distribution of existing popular brands. These will include Chanel, M.A.C, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Tom Ford Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury, Jo Malone, Urban Decay, and La Prairie. You’ll be able to find these brands on the department store’s website. They will be available via click & collect and many will feature in the two new stores to come. The first will be opening in Chelmsford on 29th September. While the other will be opening in Leeds on 20th October.


“Beauty is one of the best performing categories at John Lewis and a significant football driver, so this investment is a reflection of our ambition in this space,” buying director for fashion and beauty at John Lewis, Ed Connolly said. “We are continuing to bring new and contemporary brands to our customers across both fashion and beauty, and we have one of the widest and best beauty selections of any department store in the world.”


The news has come as no surprise as John Lewis has joined a number of retailers, including Marks & Spencer, and supermarkets, such as Sainsbury’s, in expanding their beauty ranges due to rising demand.


In contrast, fashion retailers aren’t doing so well. They have hit a rough patch that saw 2015 autumn and winter sales hit by the warm weather. More recently the wet and chilly start to summer 2016 forced many chains into early discounting.


The John Lewis refurbishments will be complete by the end of October later this year.

Penhaligon’s Boutique Opens at Bluewater

Penhaligon's Storefront


Traditional British perfumers, Penhaligon’s, has opened their first standalone store in the South East. The retail and leisure destination Bluewater is now home to the new 253 sq ft boutique. The store offers the brand’s full range of fragrances and grooming products. The Kent based store is one of a handful of Penhaligon’s standalone stores in the UK.


“We are very pleased to have opened our doors at Bluewater and begun trading at such a popular destination. We look forward to sharing our passion for fragrance via this first regional store, and introducing people to our unusual and distinctive collection of fragrances and grooming products,” said Lance Patterson, chief executive of Penhaligon’s.


Penhaligon’s has joined a prestigious line-up of some of the world’s biggest brands found at the South East shopping centre. The perfumers are on the lower Guildhall next to fashion brand Reiss.


In addition to fragrances, Penhaligon’s also sells a range of bath and body products. Another product they offer is candles.


“The store opening is a wonderful addition to the lower Guildhall and Bluewater’s premium offer as a whole,” the portfolio director at Land Securities, co-owner and asset manager of Bluewater, Russell Loveland said. “Penhaligon’s is a distinguished brand, which will heighten Bluewater’s stellar line-up and further distinguish the centre as a leading retail and leisure destination.”


Other recent openings at Bluewater include Jigsaw, Tesla, Mint Velvet, LK Bennett, and the signing of Michael Kors.



Panoramic of Bluewater shopping centre
Bluewater Shopping Centre 2009

Bluewater covers 240 acres. Included in the space is the six car parks that provide over 13,000 spaces. As a result, the shopping centre is the fourth largest in the UK. Only MetroCentre, Trafford Centre and Westfield Stratford City are bigger. While elsewhere in Europe only Cevahir Mall and Shopping City Süd are bigger. Inside you’ll find 300 stores, over 60 bars, restaurants and cafes along with a cinema screen and 3 anchor stores.


JD Sports Considering Takeover of Rival Chain

Storefront for JD Sports

Sporting goods retailer, JD Sports, is said to be continuing its ambitious growth plans due to reports stating they are eyeing up an acquisition of competitors Go Outdoors.


JD Sports fashion, which has a market value of over £2.5bn, is one of “a number of bidders” considering offers for Go Outdoors, according to Sky News.


The privately-owned business was put up for sale despite its rapid growth with sales rising by 20% between 2014 and 2015. It is understood the auction process for Go Outdoors will be ran by KPMG.


If the acquisition were to be successful then JD Sports would become the London stock market’s biggest sporting goods retailer, having already overtaken Sports Direct as the UK’s largest sports retailer. It is reported JD Sports sales have been surging lately with a big boost from the Euro 2016 football tournament, despite England’s surprise early exit.


Go Outdoors owns about 60 stores across the country and they sell products such as tents, bicycles, and waterproof clothing.


Go Outdoors’ fate will be decided by the end of the year.

Westfield World Trade Centre Opens to the Public

Inside the World Trade Centre

Located in Lower Manhattan, the Westfield World Trade Centre opened to the public on Tuesday 16th August. Expectations are high for the new 34,000sq m shopping centre as people imagine it will be one of the world’s most visited retail destinations. Experts believe it should be generating three times the sales of a standard suburban mall.

The shopping centre can be found inside the World Trade Centre Transportation Hub which was designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava. It offers a vast variety of more than 100 global and local beauty, lifestyle, fashion, and technology brands. The Westfield World Trade Centre is one of the most diverse retail collections in New York City. Alongside retail you will also find restaurant concepts, events and entertainment, cutting-edge technology showrooms, and arts and culture.

Westfield Sign

“The World Trade Centre is a symbol of hope, opportunity, progress, and perseverance,” says Westfield’s chief operating officer in the United States, William Hecht. “Westfield is profoundly proud to be a part of this project and to introduce new experiences and energy to Lower Manhattan. We are incredibly excited to open our doors to our neighbours, New York and tri-state area families, visitors, and all of our community partners.”

Westfield Storefronts

Included in the shopping centre is Apple and Bose providing the technology.

H&M, Boss Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Kate Spade, John Varvatos, L.K. Bennett will be offering fashion.

Delivering the beauty is Dior Cosmetics, Kiehl’s, Sephora, MAC, and Caudalie.

For footwear you can find Stuart Weitzman, Cole Haan, Aldo, and Vince Camuto.

For jewellery there’s Breitling, London Jewellers, Links of London, and Swatch.

Disney and Kingkow are there for the children’s category.