British Land and USS Welcome Independent Traders and Dedicated Pop-up to Whiteley

Monday, May 20th, 2013

British Land

British Land and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) have announced that a number of independent, local retailers will trade alongside some of the best retailers in the UK including fashion brands Topshop, H&M, River Island and Next at its Whiteley retail scheme.

The 320,000 sq ft retail and leisure destination, which opens on 23 May, incorporates a market square surrounded by seven units which have been designed for local, independent retailers.

The centre, which is more than 90% let by rent, will welcome children’s shoe shop, Little Soles (737 sq ft) which was crowned New Independent Retailer of the Year at The Footwear Industry Awards in March.

Other retailers will include the Fabulous Bakers (993 sq ft), Whiteley Fruiterers greengrocers (993 sq ft), Russell’s Sweet Shop (737 sq ft unit) and Xpress Beauty’s second salon (1,676 sq ft). They will be joined by Solent Cycles, a bike shop with branches in Fareham, Lee-on-Solent and Portchester (1,514 sq ft) and independent bistro Montagu’s (755 sq ft) which has a glazed kiosk in the mall.

Local estate agent Walker & Waterer has also taken a unit in another part of the scheme and Market Square itself will provide space for a variety of independent markets.

Whiteley’s opening will also see the launch of The Treehouse, a pop-up events and shopping space which is unique in the UK. The Treehouse will be an incubator for new retailers, giving retailers the opportunity to trial new concepts. It also has community uses and a competition has been launched which offers local people a week’s free space in the Treehouse to showcase their talent.

Claire Barber, Head of Shopping Centre Asset Management for British Land, said: "Whiteley fits its catchment, supports local businesses and will act as a focal point for the community. The Treehouse adds yet another unique and visionary element."

Graham Burnett, Head of Property for USS, added: "We have created a scheme of exceptional quality and having so many local, independent retailers alongside big fashion brands in a high quality environment is what sets Whiteley apart from most other retail schemes."

Emma Roswell, co-owner of independent children’s shoe shop Little Soles, said: "The opportunity to open our second shop at Whiteley was too good to turn down. It will be fantastic for us to sit alongside established brands, helping to provide a broad offer for Whiteley’s customers."

Whiteley will be anchored by a 60,000 sq ft M&S. Other confirmed retailers include Bank, Beaverbrooks, Blacks, Boots, Card Factory, Carphone Warehouse, Claire’s, Clarks, Clintons, Fat Face, Holland & Barrett, JD Sports, Jones Bootmaker, Ladbrokes, Mamas and Papas, Moss, Next, Paperchase, Phones 4u, River Island, Schuh, Sports Direct, The Body Shop, The Entertainer, Tiger, Topshop, Trespass, Vision Express and WH Smith.

Restaurants and cafes include Caffe Nero, Chimichanga, Costa Coffee, Dean’s Diner, Frankie & Benny’s, Harvester, Prezzo, Starbucks and Subway. The centre also provides 1,500 car parking spaces.

The scheme has an exceptional design featuring contemporary shop units with dramatic double and triple height glazing and European oak panels. High quality public spaces and landscaped areas also feature specially commissioned public art.

Whiteley benefits from a large and affluent catchment of 1.2 million people with an estimated £3.1 billion potential spend. The catchment is set to expand further in the foreseeable future with 3,500 new homes at North Whiteley.

Situated between the two harbour cities of Portsmouth and Southampton and adjacent to an existing Tesco supermarket, the scheme benefits from excellent accessibility via junction nine of the M27.

The letting agents for the scheme are Cushman & Wakefield (retail), Wilkinson Williams (retail) and Davis Coffer Lyons (leisure).

About USS

USS is one of the largest private sector pension funds in the UK with property assets totalling approximately £2.5bn.www.uss.co.uk.

About British Land British Land is one of Europe’s largest Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) with total assets, owned or managed, of £16.4 billion (British Land share £10.5 billion), as valued at 31 March 2013. Through our property and finance expertise we attract experienced partners to create properties and environments which are home to over 1,000 different organisations and receive over 300 million visits each year. Our property portfolio is focused on prime retail locations and London offices which attract high quality occupiers committed to long leases. Our occupancy rate of 96.8% and average lease length to first break of 10.7 years are among the highest of the major UK REITs.

Retail assets account for 60% of our portfolio, around 80% of which are located at prime out of town sites. Comprising around 29 million sq ft of retail space across 80 retail parks, 91 superstores, 17 shopping centres and 13 department stores, the retail portfolio is modern, flexible and adaptable to a wide range of formats. Our active asset management delivers space which is attractive and meets the needs of both retailers and consumers.

London offices, located in the City and West End, comprise 35% of the portfolio (which will rise to an estimated 38% on completion of current developments). Our 6 million sq ft of high quality office space includes Broadgate, the premier City office campus (50% share) and Regent’s Place in the West End. Since 2010, we have committed £1.2 billion to create London’s largest committed office development programme to deliver 2.3 million sq ft of high quality space by 2014, including a 700,000 sq ft building at 5 Broadgate, the 610,000 sq ft Leadenhall Building in London’s insurance district and a 500,000 sq ft mixed office and residential scheme at Regent’s Place in the West End.

Our size and substance demands a responsible approach to business and we focus on five areas which matter most to us and our key stakeholders: managing buildings efficiently; developing sustainable buildings; enhancing biodiversity; exceeding customers’ expectations and focusing on local communities. We believe leadership on issues such as sustainability helps drive our performance and is core to our corporate vision of building the best REIT in Europe.

Further details can be found on the British Land website at www.britishland.com.

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