Mountain Warehouse joins Orchard Centre line-up
Shopping mall giants continue to have the advantage as expanding retail chains seek new sites, despite the overall drop in footfall to malls in recent periods. Footfall may be down across the UK at malls in general, but the most prestigious locations seem to be buoyant with visitor traffic actually rising and opening in any of these makes good commercial sense.
Hammerson has just announced that growing outdoor retailer has taken space at the increasingly popular expanded Orchard Centre, which is located in Didcot, 14 miles south of Oxford and therefore also close to the destination outlet mall, Bicester Village.
Opening Friday, the 2,050 sq ft store offers an extensive range of clothing and equipment for numerous outdoor activities, including walking, running, cycling, camping and skiing.
Established in 1997 by founder Mark Neale, Mountain Warehouse is now the largest outdoor retailer in the UK with over 300 stores worldwide having seen fast growth in recent periods on the back of keen pricing and increasing consumer interest in outdoor lifestyle.
The opening follows a number of key names signing up at the mall with mother and baby boutique retailer JoJo Maman Bebe, FatFace, and Soletrader recently joining established names such as H&M, River Island, Next and TK Maxx.
And as part of its plan to widen the appeal of the mall, Hammerson has also been targeting more leisure-based tenants. Café Bar Berro Lounge opened there this month, along with Didcot’s first Nando’s restaurant.
And the company’s investment in the Orchard Centre should pay off as it comes as part of wider plans to transform Didcot into a garden town, which aims to deliver 20,000 new jobs and 15,000 new homes over the next 20 years. That will also, of course, deliver a large number of new shoppers directly on the mall’s doorstep.
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