Priory Meadow is a community shopping centre located in the heart of Hastings, in close proximity to Hastings railway station, with 290,000 sq ft of retail space and a 1,000-space car park, which is the main parking provision for the town. NewRiver acquired the centre in 2014, and has since completed new lettings to Deichmann, Schuh, CeX, The Works and The Fragrance Shop, as well as a number of lease renewals, and refurbishments of the car park and customer facilities.
At the same time, NewRiver has lowered retailer occupational costs through reducing the service charge budget, appealing business rates, and reducing insurance and marketing costs. Following the administration of BHS in 2016, NewRiver used its active approach to asset management to sign a long-term lease with Primark on the space left vacant by BHS at the centre.
Elsewhere in the NewRiver portfolio, Primark is currently fitting out a store with a 40,000 sq ft gross internal area at the Abbey Centre, near Belfast, also taking a unit formerly occupied by BHS. Primark already has a 19,000 sq ft store at the centre, and is upsizing due to strong customer demand.
Stuart Mitchell, Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome Primark to Priory Meadow and to Hastings. Primark is a best-in-class retailer and, as demonstrated by the 800-strong crowd that queued for the store’s opening last week, we are confident it will be a major footfall and sales driver for the centre. Indeed, on opening day we saw footfall across the centre increase 34% year-on-year. “
“Like many of NewRiver’s value and convenience-led tenants, Primark is growing, reporting strong sales and currently has no online transactional presence, underscoring the resilience of its business model and therefore our income streams. Its occupying of two former BHS stores in the NewRiver portfolio is evidence that retail failures can provide opportunities for our skilled asset managers to introduce better and more sustainable occupiers to our assets.”