22.4 million footfall resulting from refresh of Festival Place, Basingstoke

  • 22.4 million visitors per year, up from 20 million
  • Six new names joining the 200 big name shops & restaurants
  • Four existing retailers relocate and enhance their store designs within the centre

The refresh of Festival Place, the largest shopping centre in North Hampshire, is attracting new customers, boosting annual footfall to 22.4 million.

The introduction of six new brands, plus the relocation and rightsizing of four prominent existing names within the centre, and the completion of initial construction work, add to the draw. The 1.1 million sq ft retail and leisure destination in Basingstoke, the UK’s seventh most affluent town, was acquired by AEW in December 2015 with a vision to modernise and create an improved shopping offer and environment for customers.

Swarovski, Apricot, Yankee Candle and Lovisa have signed up to join the appealing line-up of fashion and lifestyle brands. Patisserie Valerie will boost Festival Place’s wide menu of restaurants and cafés while trampoline brand, Flip Out, will join the centre’s growing leisure and family-friendly offering. River Island, JD and Burger King, all currently trading well at the centre, will be relocating and extending their leases. Starbucks is refurbishing its current 2,000 sq ft unit, which will feature the brand’s latest fit out design.

Investment by retailers into their stores and offerings at Festival Place, one of the UK’s top 20 shopping centres, further demonstrates confidence in the centre. Since January 2016, and the announcement of AEW’s ambitious redevelopment plans, some 24 new tenants have opened at Festival Place and 25 existing tenants have renewed their leases. This includes retailers that are upgrading or relocating to feature their latest fit-out designs and stock improved and more varied product ranges enhancing the overall attractiveness of the centre.

Russell Jewell, Head of Private Equity Funds at AEW, said: “We’re proud of the quality and variety of these new signings which will further help to strengthen Festival Place’s position as a prime regional shopping and leisure destination. The rejuvenated centre will consolidate and improve the offer for the local community and attract visitors from the wider Hampshire catchment area. The expansion of leisure will further increase the centre’s appeal to families as well as increase the dwell time. Works are progressing well and we are redefining customer experience as we continue to roll out the centre’s new branding and positioning.”

Crystal jewellery and accessories retailer Swarovski is taking a 1,300 sq ft unit on Queen Anne’s Walk, the premier pitch. New to the UK jewellery market, Lovisa, the Australian headquartered fashion-jewellery retailer will open a 775 sq ft store at Festival Place.

These new signings will complement Apricot and Yankee Candle. Affordable women’s fashion retailer Apricot has signed up for a 5,000 sq ft unit and popular American candle specialist Yankee Candle will trade in a 1,800 sq ft unit.

Continental delicatessen Patisserie Valerie has signed for a 3,000 sq ft unit where it will serve its range of quality cakes, award winning croissants and viennoiserie and London based sandwich chain, EAT, will be opening a 1,660 sq ft concession in Debenhams.

Further boosting Festival Place’s leisure credentials and adding to the 10-screen Vue cinema, which is currently undergoing a re-fit, Flip Out will be opening a 18,000 sq ft trampoline park within the centre. Hugely popular and boasting the UK’s biggest trampolines, Flip Out will host parties, fitness sessions, classes for all ages and abilities alongside hosting resident DJs and special events, offering something new to customers.

Jon Inwards, Director at Flip Out Ltd, said: “Blending the fun of a traditional trampoline park with the excitement of an adventure and activity centre, Flip Out will offer something new to the Basingstoke catchment area. We’re delighted to have signed at Festival Place, an ideal location for Flip Out expansion and we look forward to being part of the rejuvenated offer at the revitalised centre as refurbishment plans continue.”

The host of new signings comes as River Island, JD and Burger King, currently located at Festival Place, are set to relocate and upgrade their units. River Island will be upsizing to a 9,000 sq ft unit on the lower ground mall, where it will offer a wider range of its menswear, womenswear and kidswear collections, footwear and accessories. The UK’s leading trainer and sports fashion retailer, JD, will be moving to 7,500 sq ft unit in the rejuvenated St. John’s Square. Additionally, Burger King will be moving to a larger 4,500 sq ft unit.

In keeping with customer expectations, Festival Place is rolling out a transformational brand programme that is delivering a fresh image and appealing tone of voice. The internal and external brand campaign provides a striking creative look for signage, digital and way-finding and a conversational approach that appeals to a busy consumer lifestyle. The new branding extends across all communications channels and public realm within the centre, ensuring high levels of visibility and brand consistency for tenants and customers.

Ongoing works to transform St. John’s Square and the creation of new public realm form a key part of Festival Place’s refurbishment programme. Improvement works also extend to the car parks, with significant renovation to improve efficiency and access to the centre.

Festival Place has seen an increase in annual footfall, now totalling 22.4 million visitors per year, up from 20.0 million. The centre is home to 200 shops and restaurants, including Next, SuperDry, Zara, Apple, River Island, New Look, H&M, Debenhams, M&S and TK Maxx, a 10-screen Vue Cinema, and a strong mix of restaurants, including Las Iguanas, PizzaExpress, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Nando’s, Giraffe, Pizza Hut and wagamama.

Joint agents for Festival Place are Lunson Mitchenall and Cushman & Wakefield. CBRE is the managing agent for the centre.

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