Wednesday, December 3, 2014

News: JD's clearance outlet at Parkgate

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UPDATED 4pm. UK Outdoor Clearance signs have gone up on the former Kiddicare unit at Parkgate Shopping in Rotherham as the park owners also prepare to improve the appearance of the retail destination.

Rothbiz reported in October that JD Sports Fashion plc had agreed to acquire the baby products retailer's units in Rotherham, Nottingham, Southampton, Merry Hill and Aintree following the new owners' decision to close all but one store.

Kiddicare, the award-winning online retailer was acquired by Morrisons in 2011 for £70m and was the first step in developing the Morrisons online business. However, the business was sold earlier this year for £2m to Endless LLP, a leading investor in non-core acquisitions, who promptly closed all but the original store. Endless recently offloaded Kiddicare for an undisclosed sum to Worldstores, the UK's largest pure play online retailer in the home and garden category.

Retail Week reported that JD will add more than 200,000 sq ft to its specialist outdoors fascia, Ultimate Outdoors, which at present only trades from one store in Preston and online. However the 45,000 sq ft store at Parkgate was first being readied for opening as Branded Clearance, selling high street fashion items with up to 75% off RRP. Signs have now gone up for UK Outdoor Clearance.

Having recently sold the loss-making Bank Fashion operation, JD Sports Fashion plc still owns a number of retail fascias as well as distributors and wholesalers.

The combined group reported profits of nearly £20m as sales increased 27% to £721m in the six months to August 2. Moving into the outdoor retail market, it owns outdoor retail specialists Blacks and Millets and acquired Ultimate Outdoors Limited, which previously operated as an independent setup, for £835,000 in February. The first store opened in July bringing outdoor brands such as The North Face, Regatta, Peter Storm and Hi-Tec, under one roof providing customers with a one stop shop for outdoor clothing and equipment.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports Fashion plc, said: "We have decided that we must prioritise future investment in the Sports fascias and consequently we believe that the sale of Bank is in the best interests of the Group. We shall continue to support the broadest possible range of fashion brands within the Group."

One of JD Sports Fashion plc's subsidiaries is Top Grade Sportswear Limited, which operates successfully online as getthelabel.com selling clothing, footwear and accessories direct to the public from leading high street fashion and sport brands. Menswear, womenswear and children's brands include Lacoste, Lipsy, Jack & Jones, Ralph Lauren, Diesel, Converse, adidas and Timberland.

Also at Parkgate Shopping, recently ranked as the fifth best retail park in the UK and attracting an estimated 9.3 million visitors a year, a planning application has been submitted to extend the mezzanine level at unit 4a, currently occupied by WH Smith. If approved, the new ground floor will provide an additional 1,209 sq m of floorspace.

Plans are also being progressed for an external works program to enhance the 14 hectare site. This includes resurfacing the 2,000 space car park area, improvements to the traffic flow, new street furniture and refreshed CCTV, a small "customer service pod" building and two new play areas.

Owned by Hercules Unit Trust (HUT), which is advised by British Land and managed by Schroders, Parkgate Shopping is one of the largest retail parks in the UK and is home to over 40 shops. It is valued at over £100m to the trust via a subsidiary, the Rotherham Unit Trust.

Parkgate Shopping website

Images: British Land

3 comments:

Tom,  December 3, 2014 at 4:19 PM  

I drove past again today and the signs have changed to UK OUTDOOR CLEARANCE so I've updated the article.

Anonymous,  December 13, 2014 at 5:06 PM  

Is this going to be Ultimate Outdoors or UK Outdoor Clearance, what do the signs say at the moment?

Anonymous,  December 13, 2014 at 7:50 PM  

There was a full page ad in the local rag for UK Outdoor Clearance. It's open now.

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