07th October 2022
Touchwood Shopping Centre in Solihull secured over 75,500 sq ft of new lettings and lease renewals during its first year under new ownership and management - equivalent to 11% of gross lettable area - as part of a strategy focused on expanding the scheme's retail and dining offer.

Following the acquisition of Touchwood by The Ardent Companies UK (“Ardent UK”) in summer 2021- the first major retail transaction since the start of the pandemic, effectively calling the shopping centre investment market – some 43,663 sq ft of new lettings have been secured, alongside lease renewals totalling 31,863 sq ft. The strategy, devised and implemented by Ardent UK and appointed asset manager Sovereign Centros, has driven Touchwood’s occupancy rate to 96.32%, compared to 91.2% on acquisition.

Notable new retailers at Touchwood include watchmaker Tag Heuer, Polestar electric cars, premium appliance manufacturer Miele and Dutch cosmetics brand Rituals. They join existing retailers such as John Lewis – the partnership’s only West Midlands store is at Touchwood – Zara, Next and River Island.

The centre’s food and beverage offer has been similarly expanded, with chains such as The Real Greek and independent operators including Alioli and Cafe Artari joining a dining line-up that already featured the likes of Five Guys, Wagamama, Pret a Manger and Nando’s.

Simon Phipps, asset manager at Sovereign Centros, added: ‘The tail-end of  a pandemic  and  the early stages of a cost-of-living  crisis are not the conditions you’d associate with a good time to be leasing space, but the results we have secured show that fundamental  strengths can trump external concerns. The offe r at Touchwood provides compelling reasons to visit, and this is reflected  in the strength of occupier demand for space at the scheme.