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is key.

Schuh opened in October 2010 in a shop converted from two 1,000-sq ft units previously let to Warehouse and Principles - something that could be replicated if the right retailer came along.

And last year, an internal bridge linking the centre with House of Fraser was converted into a licensed cafe complete with sofa seating, an open kitchen where customers can watch the chef at work and a coffee bean station where people can pick and bag their own. Retailer liaison is another focus.

“Listening is one of the most important things we do,” says Richard Ralph, senior surveyor at DTZ. “Most of the problems facing today’s tenants aren’t new ones – we’ve seen it all before over the years and can usually offer constructive and helpful advice. We do our best to assist – if additional storage space is needed on a short-term basis for example, or we can provide in-mall poster sites free of charge for marketing purposes.”

According to ex-retailer Forward (he spent 40 years at Debenhams),

his philosophy is to encourage store managers to come to him with problems or ideas instead of waiting for the quarterly tenant meetings. “If you think of a can do/can’t do attitude as black and white, we

like to work in the grey area,” he explains. “We like to compromise and resolve issues so that all parties get something out of it. That way it’s a win win situation.”

Looking to the future, a redevelopment of the centre’s main

entrance is due to start in September and will involve the creation of two 20,000-sq ft fashion stores, made in part from three units claimed from the high street. “One of the issues in Cheltenham is that there isn’t a lot of large

retail space available, and that’s what the retailers are looking for,” says Forward. “We may eventually redevelop the secondary entrance but that’s just an idea for now.” Forward is keen to assure readers that Regent Arcade’s famous

‘wishing fish’ clock – which was installed at the time of opening in 1985 and which moves, plays music and ejects bubbles every half an hour - would be left untouched. “We could do anything in the centre but if we got rid of the clock there’d be an outcry,” he said.

Find out more: For more information, please contact the author: August 2011 SHOPPING CENTRE

T: 01268 777333 | E:

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