The major signing takes the 390,000 sq ft retail and leisure scheme to in excess of 60% let and on target to open Autumn 2015.
Covering 20,000 sq ft, the new store will return H&M’s full line clothing and accessories range to the city. H&M joins other retailers who are either making their debut or returning to Newport, including Debenhams, Next, Topshop and most recently New Look.
This new store will see H&M returning to the heart of Newport and represents a huge statement of confidence in the city and the future vision for the retail quarter and associated development taking place around the city.
Friars Walk also incorporates a significant leisure and lifestyle offer, with a host of food operators such as Nandos, Frankie & Benny’s, GBK and Prezzo signed up alongside an 8-screen Cineworld multiplex cinema.
Construction is well underway on the site which is located at the heart of Newport city centre, with the first fit out due to begin early next year.
Stuart Harris, Commercial Director and Co-Founder at Queensberry, said: “H&M is a fantastic addition to the strong line-up we already have at Friars Walk. Newport represents a compelling opportunity and retailers have recognised this which is evident by our strong leasing progress with just over a year to go until opening.
“The latest research* has placed Newport 90th in the Venuescore® rankings, a jump of 108 places, upon completion of Friars Walk. The report also puts Newport’s spend per capita levels at the highest in Wales, ahead of both Cardiff and nearby Cwmbran, demonstrating the incredible affluence of the catchment and the market potential for retailers.”
Queensberry Real Estate was chosen by Newport City Council to rejuvenate the city centre with a modern shopping centre that integrates in to Newport’s existing retail fabric. Friars Walk will bring more than 390,000 sq ft of modern, well-configured retail and leisure space. It will include 35 retail units, 10 restaurants, 350 parking spaces and a major new bus station and interchange.
On completion the scheme will provide an estimated 1,200 jobs worth around £15 million in salaries a year to the local economy. This is in addition to the jobs created during the construction phase and the potential for local companies to be involved in the supply chain of the centre.