AEW has announced that Festival Place, the largest shopping centre in North Hampshire, is attracting new customers, boosting annual footfall to 22.4 million.
The introduction of six new brands, plus the relocation and rightsizing of four prominent existing names within the centre, and the completion of initial construction work, add to the draw. The 1.1 million sq ft retail and leisure destination in Basingstoke, the UK’s seventh most affluent town, was acquired by AEW in December 2015 with a vision to modernise and create an improved shopping offer and environment for customers.
Swarovski, Apricot, Yankee Candle and Lovisa have signed up to join the appealing line-up of fashion and lifestyle brands. Patisserie Valerie will boost Festival Place’s wide menu of restaurants and cafés while trampoline brand, Flip Out, will join the centre’s growing leisure and family-friendly offering. River Island, JD and Burger King, all currently trading well at the centre, will be relocating and extending their leases. Starbucks is refurbishing its current 2,000 sq ft unit, which will feature the brand’s latest fit out design.
Investment by retailers into their stores and offerings at Festival Place, one of the UK’s top 20 shopping centres, further demonstrates confidence in the centre. Since January 2016, and the announcement of AEW’s ambitious redevelopment plans, some 24 new tenants have opened at Festival Place and 25 existing tenants have renewed their leases. This includes retailers that are upgrading or relocating to feature their latest fit-out designs and stock improved and more varied product ranges enhancing the overall attractiveness of the centre.
In keeping with customer expectations, Festival Place is rolling out a transformational brand programme that is delivering a fresh image and appealing tone of voice. The internal and external brand campaign provides a striking creative look for signage, digital and way-finding and a conversational approach that appeals to a busy consumer lifestyle. The new branding extends across all communications channels and public realm within the centre, ensuring high levels of visibility and brand consistency for tenants and customers.
Ongoing works to transform St. John’s Square and the creation of new public realm form a key part of Festival Place’s refurbishment programme. Improvement works also extend to the car parks, with significant renovation to improve efficiency and access to the centre.