The company behind Stretford Foodhall and the General Store chain across Greater Manchester is opening two additional foodhalls this year at its existing leaseholdings.
Store Group plans to launch the 5,000 sq ft Sale Foodhall at the town’s Stanley Square Shopping Mall in the summer. The 9,000 sq ft Northwich Foodhall is scheduled to follow this autumn at a two-storey unit in the town centre that previously housed Baron’s Quay Social.
In Sale, the new foodhall will feature a 150-cover dining and drinking space as well as an outdoor terrace. It will replace the current Groceries and Beer unit already operated by Store Group but will be relocated around the corner at Stanley Square to create a bigger food, drink and retail destination.
The Northwich unit, meanwhile, features a rooftop terrace where customers will be able to dine outside when the weather permits, with space for additional traders.
The ‘Foodhall’ concept features a changing roster of independent street food vendors and has already proved popular in Stretford, Store Group said. Both new units will comprise flexible spaces for food vendors, bars serving local craft beers, wine and spirits, a coffee shop with bakery unit, and the trademark General Store ‘cornershop’ retail space.
The flexible spaces will also aim to promote a variety of local community uses, including pop-up retail spaces and informal classes, open from morning to night.
It is understood the group will be able to use its existing food & beverage planning consents to deliver the two projects, although refurbishments and fit-outs are to take place. For example, the planning process for the Sale venue forms part of the wider Stanley Square scheme, a £70m mixed-use regeneration of the former Sale Shopping Centre site. Store Group is working design and build company CDS Wilman on the projects.
Store Group was founded in 2006 by Mital Morar and aims to blend “traditional, independent convenience store values with modern, experiential shopping”.
Its General Store convenience store brand has five sites, in Ancoats, Moss Side, Castlefield, Salford and MediaCityUK. Two new stores at Deansgate Square and Kampus are coming soon, and more are in the pipeline, according to the company.
Founder Morar said: “This is a really exciting moment for us as we announce our second and third Foodhalls. It’s been a long time coming as, like everyone, we’ve battled against Covid over the last year, so it’s great the plan is now taking shape.
“We’ve made Sale our home over the last eighteen months, and [are expanding] and putting down even stronger roots in the town. Northwich is also a really exciting location for us, taking the step out of [Greater] Manchester for the first time, into Cheshire, is a big deal for our brand.
“The location is really important to us…to be able to create our own community in Northwich.”
He added: “We want to reignite our town centres, building spaces that champion local traders and make everyone feel welcome.”
The expanded Sale venue aims to create 10 new General Store jobs in the town centre in addition to the 10 already employed at the existing shop, while the Northwich Foodhall expects to create around 30 new local jobs.