Next opens the doors to its new Sheffield city centre store
Fashion retailer Next has opened its new Sheffield city centre store as the ongoing transformation of The Moor continues.
The High Street chain, which has moved from Fargate, opened its doors on Tuesday after workers transformed for the former BHS unit.
And its opening is just one of many for The Moor this year as the redevelopment carries on at pace.
Phil Huby, head of retail at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said the arrival of Primark on The Moor acted as a 'catalyst' by increasing footfall and boosting spending.
Visitor numbers have risen by four per cent in the year to date.
Mr Huby said: “Primark opening and delivering them to the heart of the scheme was the real catalyst for The Moor moving forward.
“I think Next really crystallises that work and puts The Moor as the definitive destination for shoppers come into Sheffield city centre.”
Primark moved to The Moor in October 2016. H&M, New Look and a Lane7 Bowling Alley will all be open ‘in time for Christmas trading’, said Mr Huby.
He said: “If you look at Primark and Next, these are the guys that are bucking the trend. Primark are, year after year, recording rising sales growth in fashion and, together with Next, are both at the forefront of strong retail at the minute.
“They are the big units on The Moor and they are the big names that are performing best.”
Mr Huby said construction work was continuing on the site of the old Redgates toy shop and people could expect to hear of ‘another leading and significant name fairly soon’.
He said: “We’re really pleased with it. We know that with the way footfall has been going - an upwards projection of 20+ per cent per annum - that will continue with Next and H&M coming this year.
“What you’ve got with The Moor is a huge opportunity to take a huge piece of the fourth largest city in the country and, in an organised way, deliver the right units for retailing in its current guise.”
Amanda Phillips, centre manager for The Moor, said footfall stood at 13.3 million for the year to date – 10.8 per cent up on the previous year.
Mr Huby said: “The Moor is quite a remarkable shining star in an industry that’s under a lot of pressure. To have the rise in footfall and new occupiers who weren’t already in the city is really bucking the trend. Sheffield should be quite proud of that.”
The ongoing redevelopment, previous stages of which included the opening of The Light cinema and the next-generation market hall, helped attract 11.2 million visitors to The Moor in 2017 – up 22 per cent from the previous year.
And it is not just The Moor that seems to be reaping the benefits.
Mr Huby added: “All of this has helped kickstart other developments around the bottom of The Moor – you've got the student accommodation being built, good-quality office space and it's no coincidence.
“It acts as a massive catalyst to other activity which everyone can see.”
Kirsty Anderson, Lane7’s head of sales and marketing, said the bowling alley would open ‘this autumn’, bringing a ‘unique experience’.
She said: “We will be bringing our quirky concept to the city after success across the country with locations in Newcastle, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Middlesbrough and Liverpool, up to three further openings scheduled in 2019 and more planned for 2020.
“The two-floor venue will provide a family-friendly offer by day before transforming into a bustling nightlife destination which incorporates bowling and an in-house bar with a relaxed food offering and attractions such as mini golf, retro arcade games, pool and a darts area.”