Smiggle and Jessops debut at Royal Victoria Place
As part of its major expansion plans in the UK, Australian stationery retailer Smiggle is to open a 770 square foot store which will be its first in Kent. Meanwhile, camera retailer Jessops has taken a 1,200 square foot store.
Smiggle plans to grow the chain every year by a further 50 stores until it reaches its target of 300 in the UK. The Tunbridge Wells store will be the 16th in the rollout programme.
Josh Molloy, global head of property at Smiggle’s parent company The Just Group, said: “We have ambitious plans for considerable expansion in the UK and focused on selecting key retail destinations with core fundamentals that align with our growth strategy. Royal Victoria Place has demonstrated the centre is a leading Kent retail destination that has the right blend of demographic, catchment and shopper spending power to meet our criteria.”
Bought out of administration in 2013 by Dragons' Den entrepreneur Peter Jones, Jessops has 28 stores in the UK. The store in Royal Victoria Place is one of six to open in 2014.
Scott Worger, retail operations director at Jessops, said: “Our new store in Royal Victoria Place marks a key milestone in the next phase of our growth plans for Jessops. We will continue to look at opportunities to extend the reach of our business where we feel there is a good fit in terms of shopper demographic as well as the right type of unit.’’
Gavin Murray, asset manager at Hermes Investment Management, added: “Both Smiggle and Jessops have recognised the unique proposition Royal Victoria Place offers and the quality mix demographic around Tunbridge Wells. Retailers continue to be attracted by the family orientated affluent catchment present, and a higher than average spend per capita.”
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