Lettings agents have been brought in to help attract new retailers to Stoke-on-Trent’s biggest shopping centre following the closure of some big-name stores.
Birmingham-based BWD Retail and Barker Proudlove, in Manchester, have been appointed as letting agents at The Potteries Shopping Centre, in Hanley, following a turbulent year for retail.
The companies have been brought in to help fill some of the empty units which have been left behind by the collapse of Debenhams and the Arcadia Group – which owns Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Topshop.
And the centre has revealed that is is already in early talks with a number of potential new tenants.
Amy Whittaker, general manager at The Potteries Centre, said: “UK retail has gone through some enormous changes over the past year. While that has meant the unfortunate closure of some popular brands, it does present us with an opportunity to shake up the centre offering, and increased support for local independents will play a big part in that.
“We have a great mix of retail at the centre; offering a blend of big-name brands that our customers know and love and in recent months, we’ve begun talks with other fantastic local brands.
“We have always been committed to ensuring we provide our customers with a diverse mix of shops, cafés restaurants and services, and this move will ensure we continue to do just that, while also providing support for many smaller businesses in the local community.
“Our approach is collaborative, and we’d encourage any local businesses looking for new premises to get in touch.”
In a joint statement, Richard Bidwell from BWD Retail and James Lamming from Barker Proudlove, said: “We are thrilled to have been appointed as the joint letting agents for The Potteries Centre.
“The centre has been an important part of the city centre for over 30 years and is still going strong with a great retail and leisure mix. We look forward to working together with the existing team and bringing a fresh set of eyes to invigorate the already-strong offering at The Potteries Centre.”
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In October, BusinessLive reported how property company MAPP and specialist investment manager APAM took on the management of The Potteries Shopping Centre after intu went into administration.
Nigel Mapp, CEO at MAPP said: “We are moving into a very different world of retail, with new challenges, and that will need a new approach to ensure continued success. For us, that means anchoring The Potteries Centre within the community and continuing to provide everything our customers want and need.
“At MAPP, we bring innovation, fresh thinking, and the ability to keep our mind open to alternative uses of space. Most importantly we will keep listening to communities, retailers and customers, ensuring that the lessons we have learnt over the past few months, of adaptability, communication and purpose, are not forgotten.”
Nicky Beveridge, senior asset manager for APAM, added: “It’s no secret that the retail landscape is changing, and we are primed and ready to evolve with the opportunity that these changes bring. The Potteries Centre plays a huge role in the Stoke-on-Trent high-street and we see that going from strength to strength.
“We will be supporting the centre through this evolving phase with innovative new approaches and creating a centre that our visitors will feel proud of and want to visit again and again.”