Royal Quays shopping centre rebrands to reflect indies joining line-up
Small independent brands are clearly important for the future of retail and nowhere more so than in North Tyneside. It’s been enough to warrant a rebrand at the Royal Quays Outlet Centre in North Shields.
So the shopping facility has now officially been renamed the Royal Quays Independent and Outlet Centre.
Since the height of the pandemic, the centre witnessed enforced store closures, lower than average footfall, competition from online sales and a decline in the popularity of brand-based stores. That meant a year ago there were 17 empty units out of 50 in the centre.
However, this has since been reduced to four by “embracing, and supporting many new businesses,” centre manager Matt Dawson told Business Daily.
“We have embraced fantastic local independents who have integrated with our established branded outlet stores and added unique leisure and hospitality to complement them to create a visitor destination rather than just a visit to the shops,” he said.
While maintaining support of anchor brands including Next, Moss Bros, Mountain Warehouse, Clarks and Body Shop the centre has also attracted independent names such as clothing brands Designer Warehouse, Pineapple Room, Klass, Roman, Unique U, plus outdoor retailer Trespass and footwear brand Pavers among many others in various sectors.
“Retail has been battered in the past year [and] we’re not going to see large brands expand soon [so] it’s not easy to just pull in any large store especially as online sales have decimated many high street household names,” Dawson explains.
“We’ve rebranded because the expectations of people when they see Royal Quays Outlet is that it’s just an Outlet with lots of designer brands at outlet prices. We want to highlight the changes we’ve made and lead the way in showing our support to the many businesses we have here, both outlet and independent.”
Dawson also said the hybrid model is making an impact and “we are already seeing a huge difference in the centre and things are moving at a lot faster pace than even I had planned.”
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