New tenant deals help re-position Great Western Arcade’s retail offer

Birmingham’s historic Great Western Arcade has signed a number of tenant deals to reinforce its position as the unique shopping destination in the city. City-based brands Sushi Passion and Yorks Bakery Café will open their second Birmingham outlets in the Arcade, whilst The Pen Shop signs a new 10-year deal and At One Day spa announces expansion plans.

Great Western Arcade will welcome the city’s second Yorks Bakery Café, situated on the Colmore Row arcade entrance, in early September. The 417 sq ft space is currently being transformed into another signature café serving the ever-increasing 35,000 strong business community, who work within Colmore Business District area, as well as commuters arriving to the city via Snow Hill station and weekend shoppers to Birmingham. Founded by Simon Ford in 2012, the award-winning Yorks Bakery Café barista team has created a coffee house brand where the provenance and quality of coffee, tea and food takes centre stage. The Great Western Arcade venture will offer workers and shoppers an express drinks bar and its signature sandwiches and cakes. As part of the refurbishment of unit 16, Yorks will introduce window seating and a mezzanine floor.

Earlier this month, Great Western Arcade welcomed another Birmingham success story in the form of Sushi Passion, which is championed as the ‘best sushi in Birmingham’. Having started life as a capsule restaurant in the Bullring Indoor Market, entrepreneur Adam Glamacinski has now opened a 35-cover emporium – located at unit 31 – that offers a mix of traditional tables and counter seating.

Great Western Arcade is already known as one of the region’s best assets, with its historical environment and unique blend of retailers. We have focused our attention on repositioning the venue as the home of award-winning retail offering shoppers ‘the best of the best’, whether that be well-known brand names or independent retailers who offer something different. We’ve got such a great offering now, and mixed with the new Great Western Arcade brand, website and social media that launched in spring, the positioning of the asset is gathering pace, as is the sales performance of our retailers

said Gay Faulkner, General Manager at Great Western Arcade.

In addition to the new tenant contracts, Great Western Arcade remains one of the city’s most popular shopping destinations, and has seen increasing demand from workers and shoppers. With this steady footfall bringing high levels of sales, two of its retailers have announced their loyalty to the area; including The Pen Shop, which has signed a new 10-year lease. With options to move to alternative shopping malls in the city, the specialist stationery provider has committed to another decade at Great Western Arcade. At One Day Spa has also seen increased success and will undertake an expansion project in September that sees entrepreneur Beth Davies take over the unit next to the current spa and create a total of five treatment rooms, including a double room; a manicure and pedicure area; tanning room; Dermologica Skin Bar; and second reception room. At One Day Spa will offer a wider range of treatments and will also welcome two new laser machines; doubling its square footage.

Gay Faulkner continued:

We want to give consumers an experience worth coming back for. Sushi Passion and Yorks Bakery Café are two of Birmingham’s best assets and we’re delighted to welcome them to Great Western Arcade. With Grand Central and a new Mailbox due to open next year, and big transport projects in the local area, the retail environment is becoming even more competitive but also offering new opportunities. I’m happy that The Pen Shop has shown its loyalty to the arcade and that At One Day spa is expanding; it proves that we have the shopping venue of choice for specialist retailers. We are also working on new strategies so as well as long-term leases, we have welcomed pop-up stores by Projekt21, Dark Circle Clothing and Bolongaro Trevor. It’s all about being flexible and offering a retail mix that works for customers.

Great Western Arcade was recently acquired by CBRE Global Investors in a £15.1 million deal that saw the company also take ownership of Ten Colmore Row.

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