Cromwell signs three retailers including hmv at St Johns in Leeds

hmv has signed a 5-year lease with Cromwell on a 6,565 sq ft unit at St Johns Centre in Leeds. The music and entertainment retailer will move into the lower level of the mixed-use block at the end of October, once the fit-out is complete.

The lease with hmv follows recent lettings to Hype, Yorkshire’s independent menswear retailer for its first ‘Tom Silk’ store, and Calendar Club, which is planning to open a pop-up store selling Christmas gifts.

One of the key mixed-use retail, leisure and office locations in Leeds with annual footfall of around 8 million, St Johns comprises 84,365 sq ft of offices and 90,000 sq ft of food, convenience and destination retail units split over two levels. Current occupiers include several national retailers such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Subway, Poundland, Bodycare and the Card Factory.

With main entrances on Albion Street, Merrion Street and onto Dortmund Square, the centre is easy and convenient for shoppers and office workers via multiple transport links and a recently refurbished 330-space multi-storey car park.

Matthew Bird, Head of UK at Cromwell Property Group, said: “For hmv to be adding one of its new stores at St Johns is testament to the sites suitability for a new age of retailers embracing the omnichannel retail model. We look forward to working closely with their team and the teams from Hype and Calendar to ensure the success of their new stores.

“There has been a lot of discussion recently about the future viability of some of the country’s retail centres, but we believe multi-use blocks in the UK’s ‘big 6’ city centres, like St Johns in Leeds, have an attractive future. From an investment perspective, they provide a diverse income profile across a variety of uses, comprising short-term leases with pop-up stores to extremely long-term leases with the car park operator.”

St Johns centre manager Susan Mendoza said: “We are absolutely delighted that hmv and Tom Silk have chosen St Johns to open new stores this autumn. Both will add a new dimension to our retail offer at St Johns and be extremely popular with our shoppers.”

Laurence Price, hmv head of retail, said: "We are thrilled to be opening a brand new hmv store in Leeds’ St Johns centre. We are extremely proud of our heritage and our dedicated staff, who, like our customers, share a passion for the best music and film, tech, t-shirts, gifts and collectables. We look forward to opening our doors very soon.

“Unfortunately, this does mean that, after 25 years, the existing Leeds hmv store in the Core centre on the Headrow will be closing in January 2020. We'd like to thank all of our Leeds customers for their continued support and look forward to welcoming them to our new store in St Johns."