Blott opens at Arndale

Student stationery retailer Blott, controlled by former Chelsea FC managing director Chris Manson, opened its seventh UK store this week in Manchester Arndale.

Blott has signed a lease on 1,464 sq ft opposite Office and Bank on the lower concourse of the centre on a ten-year term. The deal is the latest in a run of openings for the new chain and Manson has ambitious plans for the store portfolio to double within a year, with three more stores already in solicitors' hands.

Blott's arrival follows that of Di Maggio's Italian restaurant, which has taken space in the Manchester Arndale food court, and Dune's recent upsize to a new 2,850 sq ft shop near Kurt Geiger and Hotel Chocolat on the upper concourse of the scheme.

Ed Sellick, director of asset management retail at M&G Real Estate, said: "New and well-established retailers alike have become more selective and will settle for nothing less than the very best locations in which to develop new brands, showcase products and interact with the consumer. With its enviable city centre position and 41m footfall, Manchester Arndale continues to strengthen its reputation as a top tier retailing location and is seeing many names seeking to locate and expand within the centre."

Blott has opened stores in selected UK locations since its conception in 2011 when Manson noted a limited supply of retailers stocking fun and creative stationery for the school and student market.

Manson said: "With three children of school age, I quickly realised a clear gap in the retail market for quality stationery products that appeal to Britain's huge student population. I have real confidence in this new retail brand and am delighted to be opening a new shop at Manchester Arndale this summer as the latest step in our exciting store roll-out plans."

Manchester Arndale is owned by Intu Properties Plc and M&G Real Estate, formerly known as Prupim, who are represented by letting agents Tushingham Moore and CBRE. SPACE – Retail Property Consultants are the retained agent for Blott. CWM acted for both Di Maggio's and Dune.

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