- looks like Fossil are wanting a store in Cardiff.
- theres a bit of confusion about urban outfitters
Retail week has Urban Outfitters opening a "small" store in Cardiff, but the 22,500 square foot store announced will be one of their biggest. Their website says they will be opening "storeS in Cardiff" - so is there maybe a second smaller store coming as well? Could they be looking at putting an anthropologie in? Or is this just a typo?
These websites going subscriber only are very frustrating, can only sometimes get into retail week articles via Google. Anyway, the article says that Urban Outfitters will be opening 2 stores in Cardiff and Spitalfields. Maybe it's been amended.
Not much sign of any fit out work there as yet. Was in Bath yesterday and the store there is all hoarded up.
The owners of Queens Arcade have gone into admin -
According to the article it was making money so presumably a buyer will be found. I've never liked it. Despite the quality materials used I think it's poorly designed with a confusing layout and to my mind has always struggled to keep it's head above water. I wnder if it has a long term future in it's present format now that SD1 has been re-furbed, SD2 has been completed, the Hayes renovated and Capitol seemingly re-invigorated?
The arcade's football is significantly up since SD2 opened apparently and lettings have also improved. Maybe St. David's partnership could buy it to further extend St. David's!
How well is Queen's Arcade linked to SD1 & SD2? I imagine the logical step would be for the two to merge at some point in the future (if that's possible or even desirable).
On a side note, ITV Wales has a programme Thursday night at 7:30pm called Segar on Success featuring Laura Tenison (founder of Jojo Maman Bebe) that might be of interest to some in here....
The centres are directly connected and combining them would push St David's up the biggest shopping centre rankings. Think it's 11th biggest in the UK now.
SD1 and Queens arcade are directly connected although the connection is a slightly dingy affair.
I'm suprised footfall and lettings are up. Out of everywhere I though QA would suffer most once SD2 was completed. It has the Post Office and Argos but apart from that are there any big anchor tenants? New Look perhaps?
I really dislike QA. The pastiche entrance on Working St looks really poor now and the modern remodelling of the entrance on Queen St is bland to nth degree. Inside it benefits from the high glass roof letting in natural light but it's really fussy inside with what seems to be a collection of 'low rent' tenants and an unhealthy smattering of empty units. The sloping floors don't help either.
I avoid it like the plague, even as a cut through route.
There is just something wrong with the Queens Arcade - don't really know what but it's just wrong.
Does anybody know what's going on with the old Sports World/Soccer Sport/whatever place on Queen Street opposite the Capitol?
Why? Is there some work going on there?
I don't dislike the Queens Arcade, although the centre has certainly had its heyday. For a while it had quite a good tenant mix, with the likes of Nike Store, French Connection (I think), and a few other fashion stores. It also had Disney, the Pier etc. It has gone downhill a little, although it seems to have stabilised post-SD2. I can see why it would benefit - footfall has been dragged westwards and southwards away from the old focus on the Central and Eastern parts of Queen Street. Queens Arcade offers a direct route to the hundreds of people who park in the Civic Centre or who get on and off buses on Greyfriars road.
Yeah it's had hoardings surrounding the outside for the last week or two, can hear some work going on inside when I walk past.
No Bank are in the old JD Sports unit - haven't they already opened there?
Thats a good call. It's almost 50 yards from the nearest Starbucks so there is definately a gap in the market.
On a general note there was a piece on BBC Breakfast this morning about empty retail space. They referred to Blackpool having 29% retail space empty, Altrincham 25%, Wolverhampton 23% etc.
The three examples they gave where the percentage of empty retail space had bucked the trend and had actually gone down were Bath, Guildford and Cardiff. Quite a strong performance given the current climate, SD2 opening etc and this sort of reflects what I see with my own eyes when walking around the city centre and some of the local shopping centres such as Albany Rd, Cowbridge Rd etc.
Cardiff's vacancy rate was about 12% FYI. I'm not sure what area the survey covers - whether it is just Queen Street, or whether it also includes the rest of the centre.
Depending upon the dates used, the statistic about Cardiff's space declining may be because a year ago there was a lot of 'new' empty space with SD2 opening,and thus, as it has filled up, then the total available space has declined.
A more informative measure is maybe the amount of let space in each location. If a big shopping centre opens this can ironically increase both the empty space and the let space simultaneously and give a slightly distorting headline figure?
I appreciate stats can say pretty much whatever you want but I still think that retail has held up well in Cardiff. SD2 must be - factoring in those stores announced if not open - about 85-90% let.
Same with Queen St. Despite some relocations and a few high profile casulties it remains pretty bouyant, ditto Capitol centre. The arcades seem to be mostly let despite the doom mongering in the WME. Only Morgans Arcade seem to struggle for tenants and I'nm sure this must be some sort of startegy by Helical Bar to get higher profile tenants in.
Only St Mary St seems to be on the buffers and even then only a portion of it. In part that has to be something to do with the ongoing works and in part due to the high proportion of licensed premises from Wharton St southwards.
I agree with you about the resilience - I didn't intend to give the impression that I thought the retail stats were misleading!
The figures are just measuring the percentage of retail properties vacant, not their absolute number. In that sense the opening of St Davids will have clearly had a negative effect on these numbers, there are still over 30 units unlet. The same effect can be seen in Carmarthen where vacancies increased 8% following the opening of the new shopping centre there. The trend is clearly improving at the moment though.
On that note Pumpkin Patch, the kids clothing shop, are looking for a Cardiff shop manager. St Davids, or one of the three vacant units currently being worked on in the Morgan Arcade?
M&Co are opening in the old Principles/French Eye store on Queen Street.
Never heard of them, I must admit, but they apparently have 300 stores nationwide.
When I was in Scotland there was one in every little village I passed through! Kind of looked a bit like Peacocks to me but I've never been in one.
Retail rankings from CACI -
Cardiff comes 16th in the UK by expenditure and behind Leicester, Norwich, Edinburgh, Bristol. I think the rankings are based on forecasts to a certain degree and it's not clear if SD2 has been taken into consideration and if so to what degree.
Swansea and Newport come nowhere near the top 50 which just goes to show how dominant Cardiff is in terms of retailin south Wales. In fact Swansea comes well behind places like Lincoln, Swindon, Gloucester, Chichester, High Wycombe etc etc. Fforestfach and MacArthur Glen Bridgend are both in the top 10 in their particular categories which must have an effect on Swansea city centre.
I've seen the CACI figures before, and I must admit they confuse me. They just don't seem to make sense really, and they are quite different to the Experian data.
I've been to Swansea and High Wycombe, and I just cannot possible imagine how High Wycombe would outperform Swansea. Swansea may be underperforming for its size, but it's much bigger than the shopping options in Wycombe (from recollection)
Agree with that, i used to live in Chichester and ther are hardly any shops of note, you could fit them all in mermaid quay.
I find it hard to believe that Norwich has a bigger retail spend than Cardiff, it's not a big city. It is strange that Cardiff can be 6th in the Experian rankings and 10 places lower on this one.
It looks as though it's based on (projected) retail spend than things like floor space and retail options.
On that basis it's conceivable, but still a little surprising/odd, that places like High Wycombe and Chicester would outperform Swansea and Newport.
Both Experian and CACI estimate shopper-populations to estimate retail spend. They get very different results. CACI seems to work with a Cardiff shopper population of about 400,000. Which seems rather low given how important the city is to the whole of South East and South-Central Wales. I'm not sure what Experian work on. If I had to guess I'd say in reality we're somewhere in between. I reckon we might scrape into the top 10.
Even with SD2, I don't believe we rank over Leeds or Edinburgh for instance. But I'm almost certain we rank above Norwich, Meadowhall, Leicester.. and probably Bristol and Newcastle too.
Looks like the fire really was the end of Floyd Clothing - an application to convert it from A1 retail to A3 cafe/bar use.
10/01756/DCI Full Planning Permission Expected Decision COM
Received: 21/09/2010 Ward: CATHAYS
Case Officer: Alan Groves
Applicant: Mr K Evans , Floyd Clothing, 23 High Street, Cardiff
Agents: , , , , ,
Proposal: CHANGE OF USE FROM A1 TO A3 (CAFE & BAR)
At: FLOYD, 23 HIGH STREET, CITY CENTRE, CARDIFF, CF10 1PT
Cardiff's indie sector doesn't seem to be holding up well to competition from the niche multiples.
Personally I think quite a few of them lost their way quite a few years ago.
It's a shame in a way, but it's a sign of the city growing that instead of independants selling clothes from the likes of G-Star, Boss etc that many of these companies are opening up stores themselves.
Two interesting things from HMV group.
The first says that HMV plans to open a venue similar to its Birmingham HMV Institute (a music venue with a 20,000 capacity) in Cardiff, along with Manchester and Leeds. Not sure if it would be as big as the Brum one, or if it would compete with the LiveNation/Ticketmaster project to open a new venue at the Sports Village site. But potentially a big venue on the way which should be good for the city. But we do lack mid-sized venues too. Sort of 800 - 1500 capacity.
The second story is about a new fish restaurant that will be opened in Waterstones Cardiff. It seems they are trying to diversify their business and make more use of their ancillary space, which I'm guessing is becoming redundent as just-in-time deliveries get ever better.
Two interesting and welcome developments.
I really hope HMV take on either the Square, or Liquid nightclub on St MAry Street. I think it would be ideal.
Eh? Where are they getting 20,000 from? That's massive and obviously wrong.
It's more like 2,400 (see link below) which when put into perspective with James' excellent recommendation of 'The Square' would be a fabulous fit for a similar operation in Cardiff.
And a fish restaurant in Waterstones to boot. Whatever next! It sounds like quite an investment if the figures in that article are to be believed (unlike in the first article!).
Does that mean that they will be getting rid of lots of books to make room for it!
I thought 20,000 sounded a bit on the large side! Thats an 02 after all.
Somewhere on St Mary Street would make sense, although I also know that the Capitol Centre has been trying to unload the old Odeon site for years and nightclubs have been spoken about before.
A fish restaurant in Waterstones?? I can't really get my head around that one.
I concur with James' suggestion of the Square. It was originally the Philharmonic Hall (have a look at the inscription on the pediment) so turning it into a live music venue would sort of be coming full circle. It ould also fill the gap in live venues between the Students Union and the CIA.
Also I thought the bowling lane was going in the Capitol? I had assumed that it would be going where the old Odeon was.
I thought the Bowling was to go in the old Index unit which has often been used as a Christmas shop.
We'll soon find out when we discover whether the Hallowe'en shop opens again there next month!
The first Waterstones/fish food link up was in London and it seems like it took a whole floor to itself so is quite separate. It could be nice, if the top floor of waterstones became a restaurant. Nice views over the Hayes, unless they open at night and you have to see the stinking St Davids Hall signage.
Urban Outfitters to open on December 2nd, according to the Guardian. A bit later than expected, but perhaps unsurprising given how involved their fit out is going to be. Be good to see the store when it opens. Although I'm not a fan of their stuff, their stores do have some cachet, interesting designs, and the Cardiff one promises to be one of the biggest in their UK portfolio.
Parked in The Capitol today and noticed how empty the upstairs is. There's the upstairs of Sports Direct, a cafe (which is to let), Quiksilver (can't be doing much trade with a store in St David's), the nail place and Vidal Sassoon.
A re think is needed for the first floor I reckon, any ideas?
There is an application for a gaming licence for 98 St Mary St. Looks like it will be a Bet Fred betting shop if granted. Not sure but I think 98 is one of the empty units on the ground floor of Golate House. It's next to Cash Converters so should improve the ambience of the area....
The Monsoon branch in Queen St is closing at the end of the month (as SD2 store opens up in the next few days).
A few doors up Thomas Cook have definately closed that branch. At the moment the inside is being ripped apart so maybe that would indicate that new occupiers are ready to move in?
The chocolate shop on the corner of Royal Arcade and St Mary St has closed. The only suprise is that it lasted so long - I never saw a customer in there.
Did they ever increase their offerings? I recall walking past at Christmas and it just looked so spartan in there. Just a few chocolates under the counter.
Unless both Monsoon and T.C are at the end of their leases, it seems likely they'd close only if they could sublet or the landlord allowed them to surrender their lease (and therefore think they can let it more profitably/for longer to someone new).
CARDIFFWALESMAP - FORUM