Peel plans to spend £13m redeveloping the Lowry Outlet at Salford Quays, the developer announced as it launched its new Lifestyle Outlets brand.
Lifestyle Outlets reflects a move to offering a greater proportion of food and beverage within outlets as a destination, rather than just food on the go for shoppers, and a greater emphasis on entertainment, in order to lure more premium brands to the malls. Peel wants the Lowry Outlet to reflect the ‘where brilliance happens’ slogan of nearby Media City.
Reconfiguration of the 300,000 sq ft outlet centre has already started, Marks & Spencer’s relocated 15,000 sq ft store opened in August as part of a strategy to vacate retailers from waterfront units facing the quays. These units will make way for half a dozen restaurants in an aim to boost footfall along the ship canal waterfront. There will also be more entrances to the cinema created.
Jason Pullen, managing director of Lifestyle Outlets, said: “Historically the mall has turned its back on the water and we want to reverse that. We want to increase circulation within and around the centre.”
Around £3.5m is being spent by Peel on new shop fronts. There will be new ceilings, new escalators, refreshed lighting, and a wider public realm link around the corner from the main entrance facing the Lowry arts centre to the new restaurant terrace next to the bridge. Architect Chapman Taylor has been retained to draw up the public realm scheme. A planning application is due in the coming months.
Pullen said the developer was aiming to double sales and achieve a rate of £350/sq ft average net sales through the centre.
Later phases of work are understood to include a potential new hotel next to the multi-storey car park and improved linkages with the Digital World Centre offices.
The group’s outlet centre in Gloucester is two years ahead of Salford and has attracted All Saints, Jaegar and restaurant chain Bill’s.
Pullen added: “We want to change the face of outlet shopping and re-define perceptions of what an outlet can be, because we believe it needs to be done.
“Shopping has become a major leisure activity and people expect more from a centre than just background music. They want an experience. That’s why great brands and entertainment are an integral part of our appeal.
“To encourage more frequent visits, attract new audiences and cement our position as part of the local community and wider region, we host major events like our summer Food Festivals and Christmas Markets, whilst our monthly artisan food and craft markets maintain activity and interest throughout the year.
“Our innovative approach means our retail schemes are twice the size of traditional outlets, with leisure and food and beverage added to the outlet core.”
Lifestyle Outlet Glasgow is being planned as part of the Glasgow Harbour redevelopment.
Peel acquired the Lowry Outlet from Emerson for £70m in August 2012.