Developing Gallagher Retail Park, Wednesbury (Junction 9, M6)
A multi-million pound project to overhaul one of the premier retail parks in the UK is underway. The aim of the project is to improve the customer experience through an enhanced layout and the introduction of additional stores and uses.
Located adjacent to junction 9 of the M6, Gallagher Retail Park boasts over 500,000 sq ft of prime retail space and is already home to household names such as Next, TK Maxx and Currys. This new project – implemented by owners Quadrant Estates – will see the wholesale adaption of existing retail units, as well as the construction of several new ones.
In addition to this, a change to the overall site layout will make the park markedly more intuitive and easier to navigate.
The estimated cost of the work is over £16 million with RG Group as main contractor.
When work on the project is fully complete, shoppers will be able to enjoy a more varied retail experience, including a wider choice of food. Four new restaurants – Nando’s, Costa Coffee, MOD Pizza and Smashburger – are scheduled to open in the summer.
In addition, Oak Furniture Land, Tapi Carpets and Sofology will open by the early summer with new stores for JD Sports and M&S Simply Food to follow later this year. The redevelopment work will be completed with the opening of a new DFS store at the end of the year.
Speaking to Premier Retail about the project, Toby Pentecost, Partner at Quadrant Estates, said:
“The Park was originally developed in the nineties and the noughties. It was developed in three distinctly separate phases. There was little-to-no permeability between phases 1, 2 and 3. This meant that for customers going from a shop in phase 1 to a shop in phase 2 was very difficult.
“What we’re now trying to do is generate reasons for to spend more time at the park and discover more of what’s on offer, by linking everything together in a much better way. Either by foot or by car, customers will be able to transfer between all three phases as if it were designed as one park. There’s now far greater fluidity. This has a huge positive impact on tenant sales and performance due to the added effective adjacency to other quality retailers.”
There are other factors behind the expansion though – there is a local employment aspect as well as the changing trends of retail. Quadrant Estates is doing as much as they can to encourage people to go to Gallagher Retail Park as an alternative to shopping online. Offering a high quality, fun, family friendly destination is central to achieving this.
The biggest challenge on the project has been making the significant changes while the park remains open. A significant effort has been made to minimise impact, highlighted by the DFS development being held back until the end of the year.
Commenting on the significance of the work, Toby added: “For Quadrant Estates it’s a brilliant opportunity to be at the face of change in retail. The retail park is a 1980s concept that grew massively in the ‘90s and ‘00s before online retailing came along. All facets of how we shop and consume retail are changing.
“What we’re currently doing is a very effective way of generating a point of difference, generating value and creating an opportunity to realign and update an existing asset to address changing consumer habits and demands.
Quadrant Estates was founded in 1997 and is currently managing assets with a value in excess of £1.1 billion. The company’s retail portfolio includes Morfa Shopping Park in Swansea, Great Western Retail Park in Glasgow, Sauchiehall Building in Glasgow and Turner Rise Retail Park in Colchester.