November 6, 2009

Four exciting new shops have opened their doors to customers at St. George’s, Gravesend’s prime shopping centre, and another four existing favourites have extended their leases or expanded their shops.  The new shops have all moved into previously vacant units, bucking the national trend that has seen retail vacancy rates rising.

The new stores with a positive story to tell are:

Sports – The national leisure chain sells an enormous selection of sports clothing and equipment at fantastic prices and has been very well received locally following a very successful opening chain.   The store is still looking to recruit locally to fulfil its target of 70 full and part time staff.

Save The Children has recently opened one of its new style “Mary Portas” inspired “Living & Giving” shops, as seen on the BBC television series Mary Queen of Charity shops – this is one of the first in the country.  The shop is full of amazing clothes and gifts – in fact pretty much everything. The stock changes almost every day and will usually throw up some designer surprises.

Nice Price – Kent-based retailer Matthew Firman, has opened Nice Price which sells household goods, pet supplies and gifts.  In the run up to Christmas Matthew will be unveiling a great selection of toys and gifts.   Nice Price’s range of pet supplies has quickly become a favourite with the animal owners in Gravesend.

Punkyfish – The young fashion favourite has had a very successful year of trading from St George’s, so much so that it has extended its lease.

Longfield Wools – Gravesend’s long-standing school uniform retailer and haberdashers has signed a new 15-year lease and is settling into a new, larger unit having previously occupied a smaller store in St Georges.

Will Nichols – After successfully running a shop in the centre for last Christmas has opened a shop selling gadgets and toys

Timpsons – The shoe care specialist has signed new 10-year lease

Exclusive Furniture – The discount living room furniture store has extended its lease;

The demand for new shops also reflects the environmental improvements that have been carried out by St George’s Centre owner Edinburgh House.  The improvements saw awards for the refurbished car park and recognition for recycling efforts, which has led to the Centre being one of the greenest in the country

Centre manager Nicky Blanchard said, “This is great news not just for St George’s but for Gravesend as a whole.  New shops will encourage more people to come to the town centre and use all the facilities that are on offer here, anod spend their money locally.  The hard work of the St George’s Centre’s owner Edinburgh House is paying off.  With official recognition of the quality of our car park and green awareness; the future is looking very positive with these new shops and more to come.”

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