How many boobs do Welsh women have? OK, I realise Baci has closed down but there seems to be quite a few lingerie shops in the city centre.
Has Fossil opened yet?
Hawkins Bazaar in SD has closed (the bit with Barclays and Costa Coffee). In that small stretch I make it 6 empty unit's plus one unit that has drinks vending machines in front of it. Only remaining units (besides the above) are Holland and Barret, Build a Bear, AG Meek and Thats Entertainment. Looking grim down there to be fair.
On a more positive note it looks like work is starting on Mount Fuji - the Japanese restaurant taking over the one remaining empty unit in Eastside Lower (used to be Martins Chocolatier).
How many boobs do Welsh women have? Why they have three! Just like that hooker from Total Recall.
They also have teeth down there.
What restaurant is opening in the Martins Chocolatier unit?
Any news elsewhere?
Its called Mount Fuji - All the planning Apps are on the Cardiff Planning website and to be fair, the restaurant looks really good in the application! Much better than Martins Chocolatier!
The bar CHOUX which is planned to open directly above looks pretty good in it's application and will look great compared to the current blank white wall! - Only problem is, will the groups of teenagers continue to hang around that area of EastSide & where will the tens of people waiting for a table at TGI's go? Think some extra seating would come in handy!!!
A little article on Mount Fuju
That's interesting! This is an example of a Bento meal served on a Bullet train. It's actually delicous - I found all food in Japan even the bento meals (meals served in a box) were really good and healthy
I meant to use this picture really. The first is as you get on a bullet train - this is a typical restaurant meal
Well, I'm not but the food is!
It's called globalisation!
Its called a Web Translator!!
Fossil have now opened in SD2. There is also an application from the White Company to open a unit where Springfield used to be (near to Costa Coffee on the ground floor).
Good to see some activity, recent lettings seemed to have slowed down somewhat.
Do we know anything about the former Habitat unit? It still says 'under offer' on the external sign.
IIRC, a poster called Tor on this forum (around a year ago) was quite confident that a supermarket was going to go in there.
It doesn't seem a particularly good unit for a supermarket: a lot of wasted first and second floor space. Could be wrong, though.
Good news about White Company. Be good to get a couple more high-end brands in the Grand Arcade and along the Hayes. Could hopefully push a few of the less prestigious (e.g. Kingdom of Sweets, Thomas Cook, Carphone Warehouse, Fatface, Vans etc in to the older part of St Davids to fill that up).
Updated letting plans now available:
To me the biggest news from this looks to be:
- the units upstairs next to New Look that have been in solicitors hands for around a year are now back available. We had strong suspicions this was going to be Forever 21 so either they have now pulled out of plans to open in Cardiff or have decided to open elsewhere in the city. Perhaps the former Habitat unit?
- The arcade running to Working Street could look a lot fuller soon with a large new unit combining 3 existing units in solicitors hands.
The other day I was amazed to see that one of the units on Barrack Lane has been taken! From memory it is a hair dresser called rapture. These units are meant for new businesses getting a favorable rate for five years (and then being turfed out for new new businesses to come in). But I think Rapture is an established hair dressers with a unit elsewhere in the city.
I always thought these barrack lane units were a fudge. We were promised the return of the outdoor market but it never came. I'm sure nice square indoor units like this seemed much more suitable for building and selling flats on top of than any kind of funny shaped, early starting, noisy outdoor market. But they don't seem to have attracted retailers. I'm sure in five years time the renewal part will be forgotten as well if anyone takes any more on and wants to keep them.
Maybe when admiral is complete they will seem more attractive. But i still think they are a symbol of a the failure of the SD2 development all along the link between Barrack Lane and Hills Street, all dead space right now, as well as the ugly ugly car park.
There's a piece in today's Western Mail which confirms that Rapture and an Italian-inspired pasta and sandwich bar called Bramina have both taken a unit on Barrack Lane.
Apparently, they will be joined (later in the year) by a fast food concept called The Grazing Shed, which is being run by "a well-established city centre cafe bar operator".
link here to story about New tenants: http://www.chcymru.org.uk/chc_dev_final/newyddion/latest-news/2013/member-news/en/independent-retailers-move-in-to-barrack-lane-retail-quarter.cfm
There's an article in The Times today reporting that Harvey Nicks is doubling the size of their Birmingham store and that there focus over the next few years will be on emerging markets - presumably this means they aren't taking the old Habitat unit as some have suggested
I went down there yesterday to see how this new streetscape was developing only to discover that the cafe that had been there since the early days had actually closed down! There is a sign in its window saying that this will be the 'Grazing Shed'. I had to look quite hard to find the hairdressers, it seemed to be a bit invisible tucked away further down the street amongst the empty units.
So basically it's the only tenant on the stretch at the moment.
There is an application by Bose to refit the unit that was previously occupied by Pumpkin Patch on the upper level of the Grand Arcade.
Also an application for 23 Grand Arcade - not sure what unit this is or who the application is by. However it looks as though lettings for St Davids are picking up at last.
23 Grand Arcade is going to be "Blott" which is a stationary store:
A bit like Paperchase I think.
However, it is not going to represent a new store as it is replacing the existing "Essential" on the lower ground floor.
Bose and White Company are opening in currently empty units - although both were formerly occupied.
so a little update -
- Drone Boy (a local independent urban clothing brand) has opened a pop up store to the right of Mothercare, which is expected to be open for the next two months!
- Bose are going to open a store in the unit that was previously occupied by Pumpkin Patch (personally I think this is brilliant news & a much better unit for them than the original Hayes store)
- Blott an up and coming stationary brand will be opening in the unit that is currently occupied by Essential (I think this will be a major improvement as I often think Essential looks very bland and unkept)
- The White Company will be opening in the Springfield unit (I think they would have been better suited on The Hayes but it will be nice to see the unit occupied as it is an eye sore! Hopefully The White Company will increase the footfall in the part of the centre aswell, I find its usually dead down that neck of the woods)
Finally, any news on Monki taking the store by Schuh? Whats the situation with Forever 21?
& OFC Mount Fuji, Primark & Ecco Shoes
The furniture shop Dwell may well close down later today due to financial difficulties.
Republic are also closing down. Big signs in their window. One step forward two steps back or so it seems.
Does anyone know if Essential are moving elsewhere either in SD or the city centre?
On a positive note Mt Fuji is now open. It looks pretty smart I have to say - something a bit different.
Looks like St. David's is just going to be full of shoe and bra shops at this rate
I'm not sure Republic is closing, or whether this is part of the owner's (Sports Direct) tactics. They are trying to get landlords to agree to a 50% reduction in rent, or a rent+rates+services of 15% of turnover deals. Apparently, the deadline for agreeing to this is 30th June. Putting "closing down" signs on their stores might be part of their plan to make this threat look credible.
So if Republic in St Davids does actually close, it might actually be a good thing. It would suggest St Davids Partnership has confidence it can re-let the store at something close to current levels and doesn't have to cut rents in half.
Perhaps Republic will move to the Capitol - they are offering turnover based rents (or at least that's the deal with Poundworld) -
Perhaps SD2 are prepared to be patient regarding tenants. The latest signings - White Company, Bose and possibly Blott (don't know much about them) are more upmarket. Whilst Republic operate a big unit they are aimed at the 'value' end of the market. In terms of retail mix they would probably be better suited to the older part of the centre (which presumably is cheaper in terms of rent).
Personally I hope Sports Direct try the same approach, SD2 don't blink and they bugger off somewhere else. Perhaps the unit can then be subdivided and Hills St may then have an active frontage and bring a bit of life to the street. The finish to the car park and Hills St are both disappointments. It's really a dead zone there with Debenhams occupying most of the street on one side and Sports Direct operating most of the street on the other with just Red Hot World Buffet to break up the monotony.
As an aside I went to Queens Arcade the other day for the first time in ages. It really is quite downmarket - more so than the Capitol in my opinion. Take away Argos, New Look and the Post Office and there isn't much left that doesn't look as though it's on the verge of shutting down.
I just walked through the older part of St Davids and both Ann Harvey and Dash have signs up saying that they are closing. The units are next to each other and near to Debenhams.
Have seen this on Shop Property;
It seems the negotiations for MSU 6 aren't progressing so well, can imagine why at a rent of £395,000!
Wow, that's quite a hefty sum.
Does anybody know what unite has the highest rent? Probably Debenhams, as that has the large space.
Actually for a unit that size, that is a remarkably low rent - as you can see, back in 2010 it was assessed as being worth £570,000 a year. And even £570,000 wouldn't be that high - JD Sports is paying something like £600,000 a year for its unit on Queen Street which is only just over half the size, I think.
I think this is actually a pretty bad sign about underlying retailer demand in Cardiff. At £395,000, the store is a comparative steal, especially if this is meant to be the premier shopping centre in Wales. From that kinda square footage you should be easily able to generate £4 million a year, and potentially considerably more, making this kind of rent affordable. If it can't attract people to sign on the dotted line, you've got to start questioning the fundamental strength of Cardiff as a retail centre. I'm wondering whether the curse of Swansea (out of town) is now hitting Cardiff, with Llantrisant, Culver, and developments in Western Newport and the Valleys, now reducing shoppers £s being spent in the city?
More evidence of some terrible rents in St Davids:
Looks like Mothercare are trying to exit - not surprising, although this is a shame as it weakens a cluster of kids/baby stores including Mamas and Papas, JoJo, Disney, Hamleys, Lego etc.
But what is very surprising is the rent agreed at the maximum of £200,000 or 8% of turnover. Both figures are low. Especially in the context of a rateable value of ... £505,000. Which means St David's Partnership is earning less than half the rent it should be expected to if the sales are less than £2.5 million a year.
This is fascinating. I always suspected things were pretty bad in St David's given the relatively low takeup of units, the low zone A rents reported, and the low total rents listed in Intu and LandSec's accounts. But some of these rents are shockingly low.
Perhaps it's indicative of the welsh aversion to spending money freely. The majority are very cost conscious never looking at value only looking at price. I'm sure it's like this elsewhere but not so much. Perhaps turnover isn't as high due to discounting meaning rents have to be squeezed. One thing is for sure it doesn't do Cardiffs reputation ad a retail destination any good. You are hardly likely to get more higher end retailers here if they think they'll struggle to make reasonable sales
Considering the huge footfall you would imagine that lettings wouldn't be an issue, especially if rents have been reduced so sharply. I wonder what the problem is? Forever 21 have walked away after an incredibly long negotiation, if there was a low turnover based rent offered I can't imagine why they wouldn't snap it up.
I think its that despite all the hype, sales at St Davids have been, on the whole, very very very disappointing. The marketing brochures talk of St David's "attracting £800 million in retail spending a year".
However last year it was trumpeting sales of just £400 million a year:
That is sales are half what they were predicted before opening! That is absolutely dire and explains low rents, the struggle to find tenants and the weakness of demand in the rest of Cardiff. If event St David's is struggling.. what hope for Capitol and Queens Arcade?
Now I think £800 million was always optimistic.. but lets split the difference, and say £600 million. We are still a third down on that. Why? Have South Wales shoppers cut back more than those elsewhere? Or are more likely to spend online? Or more likely to shop out of town? Or has the expansion in catchment area anticipated not happened? (e.g. have people in Hereford, who were expected to shop more in Cardiff following St Davids actually done so or not?).
CARDIFFWALESMAP - FORUM