Where do you get two stores from?
Waitrose hoardings are up on the old USC unit, not long now!
"Little Waitrose" has opened on Queen Street.
Not as little as I thought. Roughly the same size as M&S Food at the station. Perhaps slightly bigger.
Only complaint. Their self-service is card only, bit unusual these days. So when it's busy like it is today you have to stand and queue even if you only have 2 things.
I went into the Capitol centre the other day for the first time in ages. It looked to me that the place is absolutely dying on its arse. Lots of empty units, a few units filled with temporary 'everything £10 or less' type shops, very few people inside even though it was raining. It looks to me as though its being kept afloat by H & M, Sports Direct and Boots.
Previously it was well placed due to its proximity to Queen St station but I would say its just as easy to turn left outside the station and walk to SD2 now. That end of Queen st doesn't really have any big draws in terms of shopping either.
Maybe there are too many malls for a city the size of Cardiff. The question is if Capitol is struggling as a retail destination what is the alternative?
Would it make any sense to turn the centre into one big department store?
I'm thinking a higher-end draw; Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Fenwick......
It might be the wrong place for something like that though, and perhaps Cardiff's catchment area isn't wealthy enough (yet) to sustain something like that.
There was an application for a bowling alley where the cinema used to be (which has been gone for how many years) but nothing seems to have come of it.
Maybe an entertainment complex - bowling alley, restaurants, cafes, bars - not unlike the Red Dragon centre?
Pretty Green, selling clothes designed by (I kid you not) Liam Gallagher, are opening in the big vacant unit in the Morgan Arcade.
Thats actually some pretty good news and a fairly good scoop for the Morgan Arcade and Cardiff more generally. So far they have stores on Carnaby Street, in Covent Garden and in Manchester. New stores are to open in Cardiff, Leeds, Nottingham and Birmingham.
I hope it does well. I want some vibrancy back in the arcades. Whilst the Hayes is busier and there may have been some boost to the arcades they really don't seem to have benefited that much from the St Davids effect. A large number of the shoppers from the Valleys really just stick to their comfort zone of St Davids and Queen Street. I'm amazed when I hear them say things like "Cardiff is so big, its so easy to get lost".
Interesting use of the old Index unit in Capitol
University of Glamorgan using the shop as an exhibition space
Forget how large the space is, suprised its been vacant that long. That and parts of the old Odeon theres so much wasted space in that building.
I thought that was where All Star Lanes were going, wonder what's happened to them?
Piece in the Echo about the Capitol Centre -
Out of 39 units there are 15 empty. Of the 24 filled I'd say there are at least 2 or 3 that are temporary. There are also at least 10 and possibly more units occupied by retailers who have a presence elsewhere in the city. With the current retail doom and gloom can Fat Face - just as an example - justify 2 stores in Cardiff? Upstairs 10 out of 13 units are empty.
Apparently negotiations are underway with potential new tenants.
Just out of interest how long ago did the cinema and Index close? Those units must account for a huge amount of space but have been empty for the best part of a decade, maybe more. As the online commentator states what the hell have the management been up to knowing full well that SD2 has been in the planning for the last 10 years at least?
I think the hotel convention centre should be built here.
The comment after the article raises a very good point - if the Capitol had a mall entrance opposite Queen St station it would not be struggling as it is (at least on the ground floor).
If the units were reconfigured to be 2 floors that may help with the empty first floor problem too.
It's not as if the old Odeon site is being used.
Vans and the North Face (both owned by the same holding company) are opening stand-alone stores in Cardiff it seems, according to job ads on RetailChoice. Not sure where - St Davids seems reasonably likely, but could be anywhere.
Apparently two MSUs are exchanged in St Davids (according to CSCs half-yearly statement) and its now 90% let by income. One looks to be River Island (bleugh!) and the other...? Has Hamleys finally exchanged? Or is the unit being taken by Gilly Hicks officially an MSU? Why on earth do you need such a massive shop for underwear and swimwear though!?!?
Gilly Hicks sell far more than just underwear and swimwear, so that will be why they need a unit around the same size as Hollister. They sell stuff like hoodies, jogging bottoms, perfumes, accessories, dresses and sleepwear. The only things they don't seem to sell that A&F and Hollister sell is jeans. From what I can tell, half the products are the same as the other A&F brands with just a different logo and maybe a slight difference in material quality.
Besides, if it's anything like the A&F and Hollister stores there'll be plenty of space swallowed up by props and space for their 'pretty' staff to hang around.
They're just for women right? With a name like Gilly Hicks...
I had a look at their website and they seem to sell most of the same stuff as Hollister and A&F, but just for women.
What really makes me laugh is that their signage has Sydney underneath the Gilly Hicks even though it's an American brand. All a little odd, but A&F do like to make up these fake identities for their stores.
Cardiff is doing well to be the second location in the UK after Westfield to get a store.
The Gilly Hicks unit is a MSU as is River Island so I guess that's the two mentioned. Forever 21 would be another two and Hamleys another one....these seem to be taking forever and an eternity in that order.
and we don't even have a Gilly Hicks in Sydney!
Another victory for cardiff over our international rivals!
Queen Street news -
A noodle bar called Chopstix looks ready to open on Queen Street (in the building where Envy was).
Just a few doors up Madhouse are opening up in the Venetian building that used to house GAP on 16th Sept. Not sure but aren't they some sort of bargain bucket type of retailer?
A shop called Sugacane selling retro sweets has opened in one of the units under the Parc Hotel.
Barclays bank in Queen St (lovely art deco style building on the corner of Windsor Place) is now empty. I hope that it will be occupied soon.
The old Monsoon unit next to Boots looks like its having a substantial refurb - anyone know whats going here?
Chopstix is vile, there are a few on Oxford Street. It's a dodgy Oriental buffet thing. Quite good when you're wrecked though.
Madhouse is in the lower level of Queen's Arcade and sells reduced price 'labels' and shed loads of sports casual wear. Seems a shame for that lovely building. Hopefully it's temporary.
Dunno about the ex-Monsoon. Hopefully not another Pound store. I work in Hammersmith and Poundland have opened a 2nd branch within 2 mins walk of the first. Our high streets are going to shit!
This is the website for Madhouse saying they are opening in Cardiff
Looks trashy trendy with converse CK et
Pre SD2 Madhouse were in Queens Arcade where the post office went.
American Express are moving from Queen St (next to Pizza Hut) to High Street Arcade. Queen St unit to be a restaurant.
In other news Brains have bought local coffee house chain Coffee No 1. They currently have 3 branches in Cardiff with others in Chepstow, Penarth, Newport, Abergavenny and about another 6 or 7 in Bristol and the west country. The indications are that Brains are looking to open up another 5 or 6 per annum over the next few years. That could mean quite a few branches in Cardiff - I can see them wanting a presence in Canton/Pontcanna, the Bay, city centre and perhaps somewhere like Llandaff, Whitchurch etc.
A gym has applied to open upstairs in the capitol shopping centre and a pretzel company has applied for SD2 according to the echo.
Another gym? What is it with gym operators in Cardiff at the moment? Is opening a gym a new tax dodge?
I waited eight long years for a non hotel based gym to open either in the City Centre or the Bay and one eventually opened in Park Place in 2006. Now within a couple of months we are due have a flurry gyms in Churchill Way (Fitness4less), Wood St (PureGym), Red Dragon Centre (Vitality no 2) and now also one in the Capital Centre.
Sounds very odd to me. I'm guessing that half of these proposed gyms simply won't open. Even more odd that they're all opening as we seem to be driving headlong into a downturn/recession/depression.
Big fan of Coffee 1 - hopefully the takeover won't make any noticeable changes to the general customer. It would be good to see a few more branches in Cardiff - there is currently one by Central Station so one on Queen St is definitely feasible.
Aren't all these gyms "budget gyms", though? Costing as little as £10 or £15 a month they seriously undercut the established players, so perhaps there could be a market for it.
Must say its a bit disappointing to have this in the Capitol. Upstairs risks becoming a complete ghost town without a footfall driver. And a gym is unlikely to drive footfall to other shops as noone wants to look at clothes, cds, gifts, etc, whilst hot, sweaty and tired.
I'm not saying that there isn't a market for at least one - but four arriving hot on the heels of each other sounds like overkill - don't you think?
Maybe, maybe not. Cardiff's always seemed ridiculously under-served by gyms to me. Even more so the rest of South Wales. In London (admittedly a different, more time-pressured and wealthier market), there are several gyms at practically every tube station.
Upsatirs in the capitol seems an odd place for it - especially when you consider the neighbouring cinema has been vacant for the best part of 10 years!
Abercrombie & Fitch, Hamleys or Harvey Nichols would be perfect in the habitat unit :) A&F i wish :L
The unit on he corner of St Mary St and Caroline St(opposite Kitty Flynns) is now occupied by PureSport. Not sure if this is a temp shop looking to take advantage of the current run on Welsh rugby shirts/Xmas or permanent.
A new place called Pasta Pot has opened in Guildhall Place. Was previously occupied by a sandwich place called Scoffs that was almost always empty whenever I went in.
Best state to eat their stuff in. I went in recently and found the meat they're using had a spongy, slippery texture nothing like actual chicken; I suspect it's what they call "recovered" meat. Scary.
Skateboard shop called Route One has opened in the big corner unit in Morgan Arcade. Good to see that one let.
An opticians has opened in High Street arcade and another skate shop plus American Express is due to open soon.
Pure Sport has moved permanently to the unit on the corner of Caroline Street and St Mary Street which means their former unit next door to what was the Hard Rock cafe will be vacant shortly. Unlikely to be a licensed premises if SWP get their way.
Route one has been in the arcade for years...it must have just moved? So still another empty space one imagines?!
Is this a new AmEx? or just a replacement for the queen st one? If so...still another empty space.... :(
Route One are still using both their new and their old store. It might suggest that after Christmas they might opt for one or the other, or keep both.
It's a replacement for the AmEx in Queen Street which is closing. IIRC there is planning application to turn the Queen Street store into a restaurant of some sort.
Sports Direct has closing down sale signs in the capitol centre..
The store looks a state and was hopefully temporary until the capitol got something else in?
All their stores are a state. It's like one of those auctions held in the back room of a pub specializing in flood damaged goods in their outlet in SD2. I know they say 'pile it high, sell it low' but Sports Direct have taken this at its most literal.
Didn't know route one had another outlet in Morgan Arcade. The shop they have just opened in the big corner unit looks pretty good so would be suprised if it is temporary.
As someone said earlier AMEX are moving from Queen Street, that unit looks like being a 'restaurant'.
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