News 13th March 2024 Retail property management

Touchwood, the Workman-managed shopping centre in Solihull, is nearing full occupancy following a ten-year lease agreed with Oliver Bonas, as reported by Completely Retail.

The fashion, jewellery, and homeware brand has leased a 3,015 sq. ft unit within the Mill Lane Arcade area of the scheme. It joins a number of retailers that joined the scheme over the past year, including Mango, Levi Strauss & Co, Mint Velvet, and Dune, as well as existing occupiers such as Apple, John Lewis, Zara, Tag Heuer, and Rituals.

Following its acquisition of Touchwood in mid-2021, owner The Ardent Companies and asset manager Sovereign Centros have looked to implement a strategy focused on strengthening and diversifying the scheme’s offer, to help cement its position as the West Midlands’ destination of choice.

Andrew Hilston, Managing Director at The Ardent Companies, says: “Touchwood’s success shows that, when the right brands are in place, shoppers appreciate the benefits that only bricks-and-mortar retail destinations can provide. Reaching 98.5% occupancy is a huge milestone for the scheme and is emblematic of our strategy, which has focused relentlessly on bringing the best names and widest offer possible to the shoppers of Solihull. Oliver Bonas is indicative of the brands we have targeted, and its arrival further strengthens an offer that leads the way in the West Midlands.”

Tony Elvin, General Manager at Touchwood for the past six years, says: “As I celebrate six fantastic years with Workman, as General Manager at Touchwood, it is so rewarding to see the scheme nearing full occupancy with the arrival of Oliver Bonas. Oliver Bonas has probably been our guests’ most requested store during my tenure, so I am delighted to welcome them aboard.

“It is testament to the vision of our senior leadership team, through ownership and asset management, working closely with partners and key local stakeholders, to ensure Touchwood remains a compelling and ever-evolving destination. Touchwood has a bright future ahead, at the heart of our Solihull community.”

Gareth Soar, Partner and Head of Retail & Leisure at Workman, says: “Achieving 98.5% occupancy at Touchwood is not only a sign of retail renaissance and increased letting demand in prime shopping centres; it’s proof that collaborating with an ambitious owner and taking a one-team approach reaps results.”

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