Newcastle’s new fashion meccas take shape
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The opening of St Andrew’s Way back in February – and Hollister, belatedly, in April – may have been this year’s biggest retail events in Newcastle, but, three months on, there continue to be interesting and significant developments in fashion retail elsewhere in the city centre.
You can’t see anything happening inside from the ground floor of the Mall, or from Northumberland Street, as both frontages are boarded off. Rather, one of the most noticable things is that the Mall smells different to usual – of paint and wood, rather than Millies Cookies!
However, go up or down a level and you can see right into the shop – shiny white tiled floors, escalators and stairs are all visible, with work looking well progressed ahead of the reported opening on 1 July. I’d have taken some pictures closer up, but there will still men in there working at 5:30, and I didn’t fancy being accosted for taking illicit snaps…
Across town on the corner of Newgate Street and Blackett Street, work has also started on redeveloping the recently vacated Arcadia space into a new Next store, which – at 55,000 sq ft – will be one of the fashion retailer’s largest stores in Britain when it opens early in 2011.
Again, there’s not a great deal to see yet, but the Topman and Topshop signs have been taken down, the site screened off, and some mysterious holes punched into the brick façade facing Newgate Street.
As far as I’m aware, there’s no further news on which retailer might replace Next’s current shop on Northumberland Street, but there’s still plenty of time for details to emerge. One sure thing is that we’re likely to be seeing Newcastle’s fashion retailers playing musical shops for some time yet, as new units are carved out and existing ones freed up.