Major fashion brands flock to shopping centre

Touchwood Shopping Centre in Solihull has continued to expand its retail offer with the arrival of three major fashion brands.

Jeans brand Levi Strauss & Co. has taken a 2,350 sqft unit on a new five-year lease, while shoe and accessories retailer Dune London has signed a five-year lease for a 3,200 sq ft store. I

Womenswear label Mint Velvet has opened a 3,544 sq ft boutique on a new ten-year lease.

The three new stores are the latest arrivals in line with the strategy – developed and implemented by Touchwood owner The Ardent Companies UK alongside asset manager Sovereign Centros – to attract premium brands to the scheme.

Touchwood includes names such as John Lewis, Mango, Tag Heuer, Polestar electric cars, Apple, Miele appliances, Zara, Rituals and H&M.

There has been 185,000 sq ft of new lettings and lease renewals since Ardent UK acquired Touchwood, driving occupancy to more than 96%. Ardent UK acquired the asset in July 2021, the first major shopping centre transaction since the onset of the pandemic.

Andrew Hilston, managing director at Ardent UK, said: “Fashion is a key pillar in what attracts people to Touchwood, and our strategy has centred on bringing the best names in clothing, shoes and accessories to the destination. As such, it is hugely exciting to have brands of the calibre of Levi’s, Dune and Mint Velvet choose Touchwood for their latest stores, and we look forward to further such additions to the line-up in the near future.”

Simon Phipps, asset manager at Sovereign Centros, added: “The arrival of these major brands underlines just how much of a fashion destination Touchwood has become, and reflects the success of the leasing strategy we have put in place. All three are fantastic additions to Touchwood, and it is this focus on giving visitors the best choice of retailers that is driving the strong trading and footfall that the scheme continues to enjoy.”

Ardent UK and Sovereign Centros were advised by Cushman & Wakefield and Knight Frank.