Grafton Cambridge signs new anchor retailer

The Grafton Cambridge has announced that River Island is to open a new store, expanding its presence and upsizing its existing unit by 260 percent, as it becomes the shopping centre’s new anchor fashion retailer.

River Island will relocate within the centre from its Boutique store to open a 9,110 square foot full-sized regional flagship on the prominent newly renovated Fitzroy Street mall.

Frances Baker, property director at River Island, said in a press release: “It’s been great to be able to work with the team behind The Grafton to design our new larger store. The new space will include our latest look-and-feel concept and will allow us to showcase a wider selection of our most popular ranges for our customers in Cambridge.”

Grafton Cambridge signs new anchor retailer

The news comes as the 500,000 square foot Grafton Centre, the only shopping destination in Cambridge to provide a retail, leisure and food and beverage offering, nears completion of a 24-month, 28.5 million pound refurbishment programme, which also includes Debenhams undergoing a significant refurbishment.

Debenhams will open a new ‘beauty hall of the future’ concept, as well as upgrade its food and beverage offering, and make improvements to the store fit-out. It will also introduce a number of new cosmetic and fashion brands to the store including Coast, Phase Eight, Monsoon, Ben Sherman, Levi’s, Clarins, Clinique, Estee Lauder and Benefit.

Tom Williams, Fund Manager at LGIM Real Assets, which owns The Grafton added: “It’s really positive to see retailers recognising the benefit of the refurbishment work. This has allowed us to enhance the retail offer at The Grafton and create a more appealing environment to attract shoppers and retailers.

“We’re delighted that River Island has chosen our refreshed centre as the location for its new store. We know that the upsized store will appeal to our catchment and the numerous students and office workers located nearby.”

Grafton Cambridge signs new anchor retailer

The expansion of River Island’s presence at the shopping centre and the Debenhams’ investment into its store is in-line with the economic vitality of Cambridge and its vibrant retail and leisure sector, stated the centre owners. It added that disposable income in Cambridge is 30 percent above the national average and, across the past year, consumer expenditure in the city grew 2 percent, above the national average.

The Grafton comprises of 84 units and is anchored by Debenhams alongside River Island, the centre is also home to Next, H&M, H&M Home, New Look, Boots, Primark and Decathlon. It has an annual footfall of 9.5 million and the centre is ranked in the top five retail and leisure destinations in East Anglia, according to Trevor Wood Associates. The refurbishment of The Grafton will be completed in autumn 2018.

Images: courtesy of The Grafton

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