Four major shops sign leases to remain in Shrewsbury
Four national retailers have committed to staying in one of the Shropshire's biggest shopping centres in a boost to Shrewsbury town centre.
All four stores which have signed the leases are located in the Shropshire Council-owned Darwin Shopping Centre.
Fashion retailer H&M has agreed a new 10-year lease, The Perfume Shop has agreed a new five-year lease, Top Shop/Top Man has committed to a further three years, and QVC has also agreed a new three-year lease.
Their renewed commitment has been welcomed by shopping centres manager Kevin Lockwood.
Mr Lockwood said: “We are delighted that these four national retailers have demonstrated their commitment to – and confidence in – Shrewsbury and the shopping centres by renewing their leases, despite the challenges on the High Street.
"We’re really pleased that they will continue to occupy their Darwin Centre premises for many years to come.”
Shropshire Council, which bought the Pride Hill and Darwin centres and the lease of the Riverside Shopping Centre for £51 million last year, has also welcomed the announcements.
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for economic growth, said the move showed confidence in the future of the town.
He said: “This is great news for Shrewsbury, the shopping centres, and for the county.
"I’m really pleased that these four big name retailers have committed to staying in the town, and that they’ll continue to trade alongside our many other national and independent stores.
"I’m delighted that H&M, The Perfume Shop, Top Shop/Top Man and QVC have shown their confidence in the town."
The news is considered another welcome boost to Shrewsbury's town centre, after the announcement in July that upmarket fashion retailer Hobbs was taking on the lease of the former McDonald's restaurant in Pride Hill, which has been sitting empty since February 2017.
The Shropshire Star revealed last month that Shrewsbury is bucking the national trend of declining town centres, with only around 23 out of the 650 retail units in the town centre currently vacant.
That is despite a string of store closures in recent years, including many national chains like New Look Mens, Ann Summers, Maplin, Argos, and Burger King.
Most recently fashion giant Next announced it will be shutting its doors in the Pride Hill centre.