The Mall's Grosvenor Shopping Centre in Chester has become the first UK outlet to welcome new sportswear retailer The Lab.
CB Richard Ellis was appointed UK agent for The Lab with a target of opening 10 stores by Christmas with an average size of 3,000 sq ft. A second store in Derby has already been secured.
The Lab was founded by Michael Guest, formerly Allsports trading director and UK managing director of Fila and Paul Groom, former managing director of sportswear distributor Mint Group and also a Fila director.
Their start-up comes at a time when High Street clothing retailing and sportswear in particular is finding trading tough.
The Lab will operate three formats; Lab Sport, Lab Extreme and Lab Boutique, serving sportswear, outdoor and fashion markets respectively.
The Mall acquired the Grosvenor Shopping Centre from Grosvenor Estates in 2003. It is anchored by Topshop and Topman, Laura Ashley and H&M.