Boss signs on for store at £180m Intu Watford extension
today Dec 7, 2018
Hugo Boss Group’s upper-premium apparel and accessories brand Boss has signed up for space in the upgraded Intu Watford shopping centre and will open before Christmas following the unveiling this autumn of the centre’s 400,000 sq ft retail and leisure extension.
The extra space at the mall underlines a major trend in UK retail in which the biggest shopping centre operators are adding further premium space to their ‘supermall’ locations and finding it gives them a boost in attracting key tenants, compared to smaller malls that are finding it more challenging to attract both tenants and visitor traffic at present.
This year’s opening of the Westfield London extension was perhaps the most extreme example of this with the supersized mall signing up a raft of new brands, as well as seeing existing tenants upsizing their stores.
Intu Watford’s spend may be dwarfed by Westfield London’s £600 million outlay, but £180 million is still a big deal and it has tempted Boss to sign up for a 3,550 sq ft shop within the extension.
The move makes sense with Watford being a reasonably prosperous catchment area and Intu saying 82% of the centre’s shoppers are ABC1, the most affluent socio-economic group. The launch of the extension this autumn also boosted the mall to a top 20 retail destination position alongside Edinburgh and Bristol in property consultancy CACI’s national ranking.
Rebecca Ryman, regional managing director at Intu, said: “Intu Watford is already one of the UK’s most popular shopping destinations, attracting a 14 million annual footfall. Our investment and the new brands we’re attracting are increasing the centre’s appeal among an already very wealthy catchment population from across London and the home counties.
“This is providing incoming and existing aspirational retailers like Hugo Boss the perfect opportunity to thrive among a growing number of affluent shoppers.”
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