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7 ANALYSIS


Into the great outdoors


Exeter-based Eagle One is proposing the UK’s first outdoor activities shopping centre for a site near Evesham in the heart of England


Eagle One received planning permission for its £35m IntoOut- doors scheme before Christmas 2012, and now it has started marketing what it calls ‘the UK’s first retail and lifestyle shop- ping centre’ to outdoors activities brands ahead of an antici- pated start on site in Spring 2013. “We’re looking for a good quality outdoor fashion offer as


well as active leisure uses like bikes, walking, skiing, fishing and so on,” explains Eagle One director Simon Tothill. And in order to create a unique tenant mix he says the focus will be on special- ist retailers rather than the large generalist sports brands. “The point of difference is customers will be able to touch


and feel the product,” Tothill explains. He expects retailers to make use of IntoOutdoors’ 125 acres of grounds which will in- clude cycle routes and fishing lakes as well as 1.5miles of front- age to the River Avon. “This is real destination retail,” he says, “and we expect to


draw people from a similar distance to a major outlet mall.” That puts 9 million people within a 90 minute drive time, and CACI estimates 42 per cent of the catchment falls into the ‘wealthy achievers’ category. On completion in summer 2014, the scheme will consist of


140,000 sq ft of retail, restaurant, cafe and leisure space in 37 units of up to 6,500 sq ft. A collection of 60 holiday lodges in a lakeside setting will complete the scheme. And the whole com- plex will be served by 860 car parking spaces. The consent also allows for outdoor exhibition and activ-


ity areas which will house events to drive footfall at off-peak periods, and an educational farmstead will be aimed at school parties. “We’re looking to have something for every member of the family to do,” Tothill explains. The site is easily accessible at the junction of the A44 and


A46 trunk roads with 27,500 vehicles passing the entrance each day. And it is already an established retail location. Eagle One bought the site 13 years ago, when it was an orchard with an antiques barn on the road frontage. This was extended into a popular garden centre, and now IntoOutdoors will see it reach its full retail potential. So how are retailers reacting to this new concept? “We’re close to a couple of pre-lets,” Tothill says. Quoting terms are based on turnover rents. “We’ll work with the retailers’ prefer- ence, but we like to be aligned with the retailers,” he explains. And the Evesham site may not be the last. Eagle One is al-


ready looking at the possibility of replicating the format else- where in the UK. “Outdoor leisure is still growing,” Tothill says. But he concedes: “We’re aiming to draw from a wide geographi- cal area, so the UK could only accommodate a finite number of sites.”


Knight Frank is instructed as development consultant and letting agents for the scheme.


Find out more: For more information, please contact the author: graham.parker@jldmedia.com


www.shopping-centre.co.uk FEBRUARY 2013 SHOPPING CENTRE


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