Bristol’s oldest shopping centre almost full as its fortunes revive

The Arcade, Bristol

As 2017 draws to a close, Bristol’s oldest shopping centre, The Arcade, finds itself almost fully let for the first time in many years.

The Arcade in Bristol’s Broadmead is almost 200 years old and its relatively small units saw it lose popularity amongst bigger retail names in recent years.

But over the last 12 months or so, joint letting agents, Bristol-based Williams Gunter Hardwick and Cardiff-based Oscar Clarke have repositioned the Grade II listed arcade as ‘the heart of interesting shopping’ in the city centre of Bristol.

The result is that all but three small units of the 24 units are now trading or under offer.

Stuart Williams, Director with Williams Gunter Hardwick said: “We have deliberately sought potential occupiers with something different to offer and that has meant turning down the majority of offers we receive in order to achieve the right combination of outlets.

“Service occupiers and retailers seeking retail space to support their online and mail order operations have been favoured. It is about securing long-term occupiers who can grow their businesses and benefit from the variety of occupiers that differentiates The Arcade from the shopping elsewhere in Broadmead.

“The units in The Arcade typically have ground floors of around 200 – 1,500 sq ft and most have basement and several upper floors. The quirky and unique feel of this busy, covered thoroughfare makes it a perfect home for certain types of occupier – some of whom are opening their first ever shop or more experienced operators also spotting the opportunity.”

New occupiers this year include hair and beauty specialists Beauty Zone and Kelly’s Nails, together with food and drink operators Taste of Napoli (Italian coffee/deli), Rollin’ Vietnamese and Wok Boxstix noodle restaurant.

The Arcade, built in 1824 as one of a connecting pair of Arcades, enjoys a particularly high footfall as shoppers use this as a route from Broadmead to the Primark and Debenhams department stores on The Horsefair.

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