FASHION retailer H&M is the latest store to announce it will make its Rugby debut at the town’s new shopping park – which is nearing completion and will boost the local economy, its owners said.
The new store will join other debutantes at Elliott’s Field Shopping Park – where a £35million extension and redevelopment, which began last autumn, is nearing completion.
H&M will occupy a sales area of over 19,000 square feet and will offer clothing for ladies, men, teenagers and children. It will open this autumn.
Debenhams, Next, Clarks, TK Maxx and Halfords are already open to shoppers, while the remaining units – including a new, bigger branch of Marks and Spencer and debutantes River Island, Fatface and Outfit – are scheduled to be open by the end of November.
Tom Cochrane, development manager for site owners Hammerson, said the new retail park would bring customers who shop in other towns back to Rugby.
He said: “There is a huge spending leakage from Rugby at the moment and there can be almost no doubt that the new retail park will assist in arresting that trend.
“The retail destinations around Rugby continue to strengthen and at the moment, you’ve got a big group of people who aren’t even shopping in the borough.”
He said the scheme’s new, larger units were instrumental in attracting new retailers like Fat Face and River Island to the town.
“The old units were pretty ugly, dated and tired so we’ve moved them back into the site,” he said. “This means we’ve been able to enlarge the car park. Previously you could easily find yourself in a dead end – now we hope its much more easy to navigate.
“The architecture is really contemporary. We’re hoping it should be quite unique in its form and hopefully great for the people of Rugby to go shopping.”
He described the investment the development had brought to the town – from both Hammerson and retailers – as “a real vote of confidence in the borough”.
Opening dates (correct at time of going to press):
River Island – September 29 (subject to change)
Outfit – October 9
Ed’s Easy Diner – week of November 2
Nandos – November 6 (subject to change)
Marks and Spencer – November
Fatface – to be confirmed
H&M – to be confirmed