Thursday, December 17, 2015

News: Smyths Toys set for bigger presence in Rotherham

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Irish toy retailer, Smyths Toys is looking to open its second Rotherham outlet and is planning to move onto the popular Parkgate Shopping Park.

Smyths Toys is a leading provider of children's entertainment products with 80 stores throughout the UK and Ireland. It opened a 15,000 sq ft store at Cortonwood, Rotherham in 2012 as part of an ongoing and rapid expansion programme in the UK.

Planning consultant, Firstplan, agents of Smyths Toys, has submitted a planning application to open a new store at Unit 6 Parkgate Shopping which is currently occupied by Mothercare Outlet.

Plans show that the 30,000 sq ft unit is set to be subdivided into two 15,000 sq ft units, with new signage plans for Smyth's Toys alongside Mothercare.

The stores generally create around 30 jobs and recruitment is already underway for duty manager and store manager roles.

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The property is owned by Legal & General Investment Management, and not BMO Real Estate Partners (BMO) who acquired the park for £175m earlier this year. Letting agents, Montagu Evans have been advertising the property.

Attracting over nine million visitors a year, the 575,000 sq ft retail destination was built on reclaimed land formerly occupied by the Park Gate Iron and Steel Co. and has seen recent openings from Card Factory and fashion retailer, H&M.

The 4,000 sq ft, 128-cover new-build Nando's restaurant also opened at the start of December.

Mothercare has been cutting back its UK store network, closing 16 underperforming stores in the first half of this finacial year. In 2013, the Early Learning Centre and Mothercare outlet store opened within the existing Mothercare (and former Children's World) unit on the park. The company has been shifting its focus to out-of-town stores rather than high street locations.

Parkgate has seen the closure of nursery retailer Mamas & Papas this year which followed on from the closure of the large Kiddicare unit in 2014. The 45,000 sq ft unit was taken on by JD Sports Fashion plc, the leading retailer and distributor of branded sportswear, fashionwear and outdoor clothing and equipment. Operating as an outlet for outdoor brands that it owns, such as Blacks and Millets, JD is set to change the operation in the new year.

Smyths Toys website
Parkgate Shopping website

Images: Montagu Evans

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