The Dr Martens Brum store is due to be pop-up for Xmas. Not sure if the Cardiff one is. Doesn't say so but it would seem strange to open a permanent store in Cardiff and not Brum.
Am guessing it's in the old Spillers unit as this has a new hoarding around it.
Does anyone buy DM's any more though?
They're back in vogue, apparently. At least in London. Not sure about Cardiff.
Has anyone else noticed that pubs and shops (Saturday Excluded) in the city centre are really quiet at the moment?. Is it the run up to xmas of or is it the dreaded double dip?
I don't think we're headed for a double-dip (although its not impossible), but the consumer-side of the recovery may slow down as (1) people worry about cuts and (2) cuts actually take place.
I thought something similar on Oxford Street recently, but I wouldn't read too much into it. Christmas sales have peaked later and later in recent years, and before and after Xmas there is usually a bit of a lull. And footfall isn't necessarily the same as sales for traders. I recall someone mentioning how stores that had moved from Capitol to St Davids reported being quieter but making bigger sales. I always look at the number of bags people carry. You normally find when its quieter the people that are there mostly have bags, whilst (Xmas and Jan sales excluded) when its busy a lot of the people are browsing and satisfyin their shopping "hobby".
I'll echo that Dai,
when itys quiet you get just the 'buyers' but when its busier you get the 'browsers' coming out too!
A few times I've mentioned that I think the arcade owners need to be more proactive in getting their message across and attracting people to the arcades.
Today's Echo featured the story about one of the new(ish) retailers getting Eve Myles to do their official opening, wax lyrical about them, and obviously get some publicity. Great. But they did spoil it a little by pleading a bit of a charity case for people to shop in the arcades. You can't guilt people into shopping with you! It puts them off!
Also had a look at a few websites for the shops in the arcades. As an example:
Yes its an online shop as well but it should be really easy to find the location of the store. If its not on the front page (which it easily can be for a very small chain), there should be a big "find us" button. Instead you have to click on the "contact us" button (which is small). Just seems poorly executed.
Seeing that they have more than one store (one in Port Talbot as well) they'd be better off having a Stores or Locations page off the main navigation bar.
They've used the Help page to do that.
I have actually got a flyer of the 'castle quarter arcades' with a map of all the shops with names.Seems a good idea to market the arcades in thier respective 'quarters'.
More arcade whinging. I don't think they'll be successful. Perhaps a form of loan that is repayable when the scheme is finished and footfall or some other measure hits a certain target. So they get helped through the good times but then start paying it back when they benefit from the upturn in sales.
Seems to be the council are giving something back to these angry traders....
Sign up for a shop called Two Seasons - ski, surf equipment etc - for the old Pier unit in Queens Arcade. Not sure if it's just for Xmas or permanent.
A tale of two cities;
This is beyond desperate and may be in part to do with Cardiff's renaissance.
Although Newport centre is pretty shit I do feel bad for them. Both M&S and Next must actually be losing money to be considering closing their stores.
I know it's not a good look for the centre of Newport. But M&S and Next are not completly pulling out of the city they are going to be trading from a large retail park within Newport.Just like Fforestfach in Swansea.It is still a major blow for the city centre though. Before you know it the city centre will be like a ghost town...
The reason i can see is that the center is full of the poorest people in newport, they really have failed to attract the big spenders who live in the city. the retail park (Spytty park) is actually quite an attractive area to shop (for a retail park) with street furniture, nice paving, good parking etc. i would rather shop at the retail park as most people there are business types, who dont give you funny looks for not pushing a pram, or wearing a tracksuit with your hands down the front.
It's no different from what's happened in Bridgend and Llanelli. Town/City centres that don't have a destination/day trip appeal are bound to lose out to retail parks.
Newport has some great publicly funded improvements but the purpose of its historic centre needs to be re-thought. Having missed the bus with Friar's Walk in the boom years the centre needs to come up with something distinctive and different that sets it apart from SD2, Cabot Circus, Cribb's Causeway etc.
Maybe they should look to particular speciality sectors... books, antiques, speciality foods etc to contrast with the endless clothing stores in Cardiff and Brizzle.
I still love the Friars Walk fly-through. The dragon more than the development!
Joules is now open in the Hayes, and they were putting up the sign outside Urban Outfitters this morning. It looks to be about 3 weeks away from opening, they've done a huge amount of work inside and I'm quite excited to have a look.
The chocolate shop in the Royal Arcade is going to be replaced by the Pembrokeshire Pie and Pasty Co. which sounds a much better bet.
Ahhh there was an article about the Pembrokeshire Pie and Pasty company a few months back saying they wanted to come to Cardiff to spread the word that Pasty's are not a purely Cornish thing. Good luck to them.
I'm back December 10th - 12th for a weekend I think (and then again Xmas) and it will be good to see how much things have changed in the last few months. Will be nice to see the Hayes looking more complete.
Although there still is the empty Ed Hardy unit, Bose unit, and at least another two by Leia.
According to the Echo High St arcade and Duke St arcade are now fully let for the first time in 4 years. Castle Arcade is also fully let.
Also found this -
Apparently this gym is to open in Landmark Place. I wonder if this will be located in the newly built retail units at street level or in the building itself? Anyone know?
Well, there is an (old) large sign for CommsCorp on the blue rendered wall directly opposite the Capitol car park but I don't think that any telecoms company are actually in there - so the location might be there but I'm totally guessing to be honest.
This gym will potentially hit the one that I go to (Vitality)in Park Place quite badly if it really is a flat £15 a month (as opposed to £15 pcm for visits so long as their between 10am and 11am etc!). I for one will jump ship.
Maybe Flannels are moving out?
Urban Outfitters is now open, looks like a very expensive shop fit. Not my taste really, a bit too grungy.
First up - I quite liked Urban Outfitters. It really is an expansive store, probably one of their biggest in the UK. Bought a joke book but their clothing is too expensive for my tastes!
And now, the St David's Effect:
Austin Reed and Jaeger are trying to move from the Capitol to St Davids. I hope that they can't offload their leases before St Davids fills up with NEW RETAILERS. Rents are falling in Queen Street (although it still is fairly full).
Wonder what rents are in St Davids?
Interesting that Sports Direct are only temporary, didn't think that would have been part of The Capitol's long term plan.
Would like to know what their long term plan is though. It's getting emptier by the week (notice Lobster Bob has shut) and if Jaeger and Austin Reed are bailing out it leaves very little left. Benetton is a big unit which always seems to be empty as well which can't continue indefinitely.
With All Star Lanes opening maybe a complete rethink is needed, maybe something utilising the ex Odeon space too.
United Colours of Benetton are having a closing down sale so they are bailing out too. Lobster Bob seems to have ceased trading entirely - I read some reviews and they never got particularly good ones it must be honest.
Do they have a particular retailer in mind for the 20,000 square foot store? It would need to be a big footfall driver as that is what the place has lacked since Zavvi closed. Music/DVD stores are great at bringing people into an area particularly in the festive period.
They will probably have to fight hard to keep H&M as that store always seems fairly quiet. Indeed some of the lustre must have come off H&M as their St Davids store never seems that busy either.
If it was up to me, my strategy for the Capitol Centre would involve the following fairly major refurbishment:
- Creation of a new entrance directly facing Queen Street Station to attract shoppers in as they get off the train
- Utilisation of the Odeon space to replace the space lost from this entrance.
- a reallocation of space from A1 to A3 (restaurants) that could drive footfall.
- Going all out for a big footfall generator such as HMV to take the anchor unit
The upstairs, mainly empty, units would be better as restaurants along the lines of Eastside with improved street level access and signage.
I agree that a mall entrance opposite the station would make the centre much busier as a thoroughfare rather than the L shape it is now.
I also think that the small shop units need to be reconfigured into fewer, larger stores to attract some bigger names and to reduce the voids.
Not sure what the access arrangements for All Star Lanes will be but it would be a lost opportunity if it's from the old Index unit only.
Greggs have opened in St John St. Whilst we may shake our heads at the proliferation of said store it has to be said that they have really made an effort with the shop front which looks very good as does the outlet on the corner of Church St/St Mary St.
As for the Capitol centre if the few remaining big names bail out it must put it's viability at risk surely?
Can someone put a sock in Mr Osztreicher's mouth?
He whinges non-stop. If his trade is down he can hardly blame St Davids. There isn't a music shop in St Davids, nor is it the kind of store that would depend heavily on passing footfall. Its the kind of shop you make a special effort to go to - to buy music, supplies (e.g. reeds) or a new instrument. If his business is down its either because he's doing something wrong (or less good than his competitors such as Gamlin's) or because the market for musical instruments is declining. Instruments are certainly cheaper than they used to be, perhaps as they're now all made in China!
And a couple of the men's indie clothes stores seemed to be doing a good trade: Barker, Pavillion. It shows that if you stock the right product at the right price people will visit and spend money. If you whinge and fail to adapt you'll see your business decline.
The retail analyst gets it spot on I think:
"Many of these secondary retailers are still doing what they have always done, as opposed to perhaps diversifying,” he said.
“What you’ll find, in my opinion, is that type of location does have to start becoming specialist or niche, otherwise people won’t go there.”
Against my better judgement, I went into the changing room of a shop called USC in St David's shopping cathedral last weekend to try on a polo shirt.
Despite paying half a million a year in rent to the landlords, USC's budget clearly didn't extend to bothering to put hooks in the changing rooms.
Presumably, they expect you to chuck your own clothes on the floor whilst you try on theirs.
In addition, despite cladding the changing room in expensive looking floor to ceiling wood, the (non hinged) mirror was 7 feet tall by.....8 inches wide and was fixed parallel to the left hand wall so that you could only see your left hand shoulder when you stood in front of it. An novel way to encourage trade.
USC? Ha. Chav!
Urban Outfitters has really swanky changing rooms. I think the 23,000 square foot store they have is a bit much for them as a good 10% is taken up by the changing rooms and the associated waiting area.
I did say against my better judgement.
To be honest it was to try on a top (for size) that I was going to buy on the net at a cheaper price from another seller.....
Wizard - are you a football hooligan? Will you be frequenting the proposed 'Solid' establishment for some banging choons? I have an image in my mind of you being a bit of a Danny Dyer type character - pwopah nawty like.
lol Have you met Wizard? Danny Dyer he ain't! More Danny La Rue! ;-)
Well that's just typical of this forum. I make some pertinent and informative comments about the facilities available in our retail establishments, and before I can defend myself, I'm being slandered as a cross dressing football hooligan.
I'll get my coat.I'm off to picket the deli in Whitchurch.
The old Sports Sales unit at the end of "Chippy Lane / Chip Alley" is under offer according to the shop property website. I know they had a conversion to A3 turned down and this website can be out-of-date so perhaps that was for a cafe as opposed to a retail unit but perhaps it could soon find a tenant! It offers 1,770 square feet of sales space for £45,000 a year in rent so its fairly decent value. Similar-sized units in St Davids would be going for perhaps £130,000+ I reckon.
Also under offer are some units in the High Street Arcade, the Royal Arcade, the old Envy Unit on Queen Street (on which the rates bill is £117,000 suggesting a rental price of about £350,000 a year for a little over 5,000 square feet). Also looks like the remaining units on St Davids Way (opposite BHS) are under offer.
Re above: I think you mean Caroline Street.
Bad news for Wizard. USC's outlet on Queen St is now shut.
I imagine the Inner Circle's 'top boy' will be fuming at the reduction in the availability of Henri Lloyd gear. If I was in the USC firm I'd have it away on my toes, the mugs. I just hope no claret is spilt.
Whaaaaaat the ....... where's me brass knucks
Timberland have shut down in St Davids centre. No advance warning about that one. You will have to go to Cribbs Causeway now if you want to buy expensive shoes that will make you look like a builder.
Sad to see that the newly opened two seasons shop (the old pier unit) in the queens arcade appears to be up for let, as does the austin reed store in capitol, both these 'shopping centre's' appear to be emptying pretty fast. Most worrying is that most of queens arcade seems to be up for let http://www.calanretail.co.uk/property.php?search=cardiff&x=18&y=13
and as for the capitol shopping centre, who knows, I don't think the centre management has a long term plan!
Has Two Seasons closed then?
You can't trust shop property websites, some of them are months out of date.
Looked open today, from a short distance.
It looked open to me when I went past yesterday.
Freespirit in St Johns Street are closing down. I understand that Blacks are moving into that unit which would leave their current premises on the corner of Castle St/Womamby St empty.
Perhaps a restaurant/bar could open there? I think these premises would suit an outfit like the Toucan or Buffalo. They are big enough and there is a sizeable area upstairs, plus in Womamby Street which appears to be Cardiff's epicentre for 'alternative' venues (despite Spoons presence).
I've got high hopes for Womanby Street. Has anyone seen the nice buildings between Dempseys and Clwb? They are crying out to be bars/clubs. Hopefully won't be too long.
I was initially opposed to the repaving of Womanby Street, but actually it looks pretty good and I think it will help the street.
I'm also increasingly impressed with the work on High Street. The banner post/lamp-post things are a bit high and a bit odd, but it's starting to feel like a nice area. Wandering around the other day it was inconceivable that cars used to clog up that street and we trudged along on skanky pavements.
The council still dropped a bollock with refusing to grant a licence for Floyds. They need to step back sometimes, create the infrastructure and then let the market do it's work.
Those buildings are nice. I think they are basically shells which would entail a significant sum of money to bring back into retail/A3/office usage. In the present climate that may prove to be a tricky proposition.
I have noticed that all of the units that used to be the Horse and Groom are now let - Cougar, Beach and Y Fuwch Goch. That must be a good omen. Still no sign of the Staff Club being brought back into use. Anyone know whats happening? There was also an application to turn the derelict building next to Revolution into a hostel which now appears to have been binned (thankfully).
I like the paving as well.
According to the Guardian rates relief for empty commercial properties with a rateable value of over £2,600 will be scrapped from April 2011 onwards.
This could lead to landlords reducing rents to avoid payment of rates, thus increasing letting activity in the retail sector particularly in th city centre where the level of rents never cease to amaze me.
Looks like the Waitrose store on Queen Street will be open by April.
With the new Travelodge opening and now this, it seems there is a little bit of fightback happening in the street post-SD2.
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