Liam Gladwin from retail, sport and leisure specialists LK2 considers how a recently completed scheme in Lincoln has met these changing needs of the retail sector and also maximised its waterside location.

The Waterside Shopping Centre, Lincoln, has been reimagined by the LK2 team alongside asset and development managers The Hark Group in recent years, as part of a staggered two phased project. An extensive multi-million-pound refurbishment has centred on retailers wants and needs – aiming to create a fit-for-purpose modern space for The Waterside Partnership, which is attractive to shoppers and brands alike.

One of the largest challenges facing the centre before its transformation in 2014 was that it no longer provided a standard of retail which was attractive to tenants and had an out of date ‘boutique’ layout. Because of this the centre was faced with an increasing number of vacant units which led to a continued lack of footfall and decline in interest from retailers.

The first phase aimed to reconfigure the existing space available, moving away from a traditional layout of stores and open up the centre’s frontage, making best use of the beautiful riverscape on the site’s doorstep.

Four years after phase one took place, LK2 have now completed a second phase of works at the Waterside Shopping Centre building on the successful foundations laid down by our team previously. The focus of these works was on bringing two menswear and womenswear high street giants together to create a new 11,300sq ft store in the centre, which is now open to the public and trading well; helping to further cement the centre’s reputation as a retail destination.

David Henderson-Williams, director at The Hark Group said: “We are delighted with the results of this refurbishment which has added real value to the centre and our retailers. LK2s regeneration proposal has assisted in securing more brands, bigger units and a better environment for visitors further establishing the centre as the retail heart of Lincoln.”

As retail evolves to meet new challenges such as the rising popularity of online shopping, retailers are now looking to create destinations for shoppers, creating stores that encapsulate the brand and appeal to customers. This new and improved unit has achieved just that for the two leading retail brands – bringing them together and creating a retail destination.

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