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Old October 18th, 2009, 03:15 PM   #41
WilfBurnsFan
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I should really like a Borders Books to counteract the Waterstones-Blackwell duopoly but I doubt it would ever happen - they seem to prefer big-shed out-of-town shops, and if they can't make Oxford Street pay they're not going to open here.

Sad too to see Steedman's gone: now the only second hand bookshops are charity shops.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #42
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I doubt there's going to be a Habitat anytime soon, there's even the potential that the whole company may be up for sale. That would seem to indicate they aren't making much money.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by WilfBurnsFan View Post
I should really like a Borders Books to counteract the Waterstones-Blackwell duopoly but I doubt it would ever happen - they seem to prefer big-shed out-of-town shops, and if they can't make Oxford Street pay they're not going to open here.

Sad too to see Steedman's gone: now the only second hand bookshops are charity shops.
Yes, I too prefer Borders to Waterstones or even WHSmith. Unfortunatly they do tend to aim for out of town retail parks, hence it being in Silverlink. Though I do know of one in Glaagow City Centre. Though the Glasgow one was opend before they decided to aim at retail parks.

They would be a good choice for the former Zavvi/Virgin store though, if Barclays gets knocked back, anyone know of the decision date on that?
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Old October 18th, 2009, 04:12 PM   #44
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I doubt there's going to be a Habitat anytime soon, there's even the potential that the whole company may be up for sale. That would seem to indicate they aren't making much money.
Its actually owned by the same group which own IKEA and theyve pumped a lot of money into it over the last few years to rid it of its rather unfair image (it suffered for a long time of criticism that it was stuck 'in the eighties'). It hasnt expanded too much of late, several stores have closed and its flagship stores arent pulling in the cash as once they did, but i would be surprised if it went up for sale again...in the current climate its hard to see who would buy it. Apart from Terence Conran who probably feels hes got a point to prove....

Edit: Interesting article, but it seems to have glossed over all the store closures and pulling out of Ireland...best not mention these things if the company is up for sale i guess...and the headline seems to leap to conclucions somewhat!

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Old October 18th, 2009, 07:45 PM   #45
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8313067.stm

I should have posted that before.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 07:48 PM   #46
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I guess that shows promising signs, maybe we can hope, though I won't hold my breath.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 09:21 PM   #47
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I should really like a Borders Books to counteract the Waterstones-Blackwell duopoly but I doubt it would ever happen - they seem to prefer big-shed out-of-town shops, and if they can't make Oxford Street pay they're not going to open here.

Sad too to see Steedman's gone: now the only second hand bookshops are charity shops.
the bookstores in newcastle are absolutely horrific. i buy books all the time but havent bought one in town for probably 7 or 8 years. the selection is terrible, corporate, bland and mainstream. what we really need is a proper independent bookshop, not a second-hand charity shop, but the kind of place where the staff personally choose the books and keep up with lastest the literary movements from around the globe.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 09:25 PM   #48
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Is there anyway that they could punch holes in the roof of the older parts of Eldon Square and put in a glass roof. They did this at the Bridges in Sunderland when they built the extention, which makes it feel so much more airy than Eldon Square. I've seen a few other older shopping centres in the UK where they've done this (Preston mall for example) and having natural light coming in makes it a much more pleasent experience.

The new Arndale Centre in Manchester is superb by the way. If the older bits of Eldon Square could be knocked down & replaced like they did down there I would be very happy. Particularly the Blacket Street stretch. The Arndale entrance onto Exchange Square in Manchester looks superb too (with it's giant Next). Something like this would really improve the centre as well as Eldon Square and the Monument.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 09:30 PM   #49
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Is there anyway that they could punch holes in the roof of the older parts of Eldon Square and put in a glass roof. They did this at the Bridges in Sunderland when they built the extention, which makes it feel so much more airy than Eldon Square. I've seen a few other older shopping centres in the UK where they've done this (Preston mall for example) and having natural light coming in makes it a much more pleasent experience.

The new Arndale Centre in Manchester is superb by the way. If the older bits of Eldon Square could be knocked down & replaced like they did down there I would be very happy. Particularly the Blacket Street stretch. The Arndale entrance onto Exchange Square in Manchester looks superb too (with it's giant Next). Something like this would really improve the centre as well as Eldon Square and the Monument.
Yeah, hopefully the IRA decide not to blow up ES, even if it did mean Newcastle getting a giant Next store, which is what happend in Manchester.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 10:12 PM   #50
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The Next in Manchester (and whole Arndale extention and Winter Gardens) really is superb mind. I tend to save my big shopping excursions for going down there as the range really is so much better. I'm not usually a big fan of malls but the new bit of the Arndale is the one mall in the whole country I can just about abide.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 10:41 PM   #51
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I'd like to see an actual street created through from Northumberland Street to Eldon Square/New Bus Station. It wouldn't really take much as the link between Eldon Square and M&S is quite small and could be replaced by a overhead glass crossing similar to one i've seen in Manchester although i can't remember where it actually is.

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Old October 18th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #52
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Also Jon, yeah i agree that Fenwick's isn't up there with Harvey Nics but its better than Debenhams, probably just above House of Frasers / John Lewis. I also agree about the Fenwicks entrance, why have a newsagents, pen store and crap 'granny wear' section. Either pull the cosmetics department forward or have a nice front lobby area; plus i'd wish they open the windows up and let some natural light in the store, you can still merchandise well. They'd probably only need walls for the xmas window.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #53
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I'd like to see an actual street created through from Northumberland Street to Eldon Square/New Bus Station. It wouldn't really take much as the link between Eldon Square and M&S is quite small and could be replaced by a overhead glass crossing similar to one i've seen in Manchester although i can't remember where it actually is.

Yes, re-create the old Prudhoe Street that was always there until circa 1976. Standing on Northumberland Street, you had the original 'Northumberland Arms' (pretty much where the current one is) on the left hand corner, and M & S on the right hand corner, and you could walk up Prudhoe Street past the Prudhoe Street Mission on your right, which I think was a building that had become (may be wrong) the 'Dole Office', all the way to Percy Street. I have a photo somewhere, I'll try to insert it later.

But, a good idea to do what you suggest elliot.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 11:28 AM   #54
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Sounds a nice idea, but not sure how successful it could be, that area is full of loading yards and the john lewis and fenwick pick up areas. They're pretty grim, and not at all pedestrian freidnly. Still, I'm sure there's a way to make it work.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 10:48 AM   #55
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An interesting article in the Newcastle Journal today (21st October 2009) . . .

The MetroCentre and Eldon Square are two of the best known shopping centres in Britain and have done much to establish the region as a retail and leisure destination.



ELDON Square came first as the largest redevelopment of Newcastle’s central core and for some years was unchallenged as a shopping centre. Sir John Hall’s MetroCentre upset the apple cart in a significant way, drawing away from the city centre retail spend to what was billed as Europe’s largest shopping destination.

Hard as it is to re-live those heady days when it is clear that high streets are presently seriously challenged by the recession, the cut and thrust between MetroCentre and Eldon Square was fascinating to watch. Who was going to MetroCentre and who was not was summed up at the time by one leading property journalist as "gladiatorial combat".

The outcome two decades later is a calm balance between the two centres with Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) now driving both developments. MetroCentre had its Red Mall redevelopment and Eldon Square is now going through a significant redevelopment process.

MetroCentre redeveloped a brownfield site bordered on one side by the soon to open western bypass. It brought a large number of jobs and allowed retailers such as Marks & Spencer to test the concept of trading on one floor only.

Eldon Square was altogether different in that it was a city centre redevelopment, carried out at a time when sensitivity was possibly not the watch word. However, the recent refurbishment carried out by CSC has certainly improved the errors of the past – in particular old Eldon Square, once a glorious Grainger Town square, has been brought back to something much more attractive.

Retail and leisure trends have also caught up with Newcastle city centre with retail returning to secondary locations such as Grainger Street. All in all, the city centre is looking much more a European destination than it ever has.
Eldon Square will open up its south side, long a bleak pitch, and with it will come in due course the revitalisation of Clayton Street and other nearby streets. CSC’s courage in investing huge sums shows how city centres can be brought back to life and how concepts of development and design need to be flexible – what worked 30 years ago is not necessarily going to work today.
A form of warning from retail history, some would say, with the east Pilgrim Street site in mind. To get this wrong would jeopardise the future well-being of Newcastle as a city centre for leisure, living, working and shopping. Eldon Square in particular is showing signs of retail recovery, announcing a number of concluded deals with interesting brands from around the globe.

Comparing Eldon Square with national statistics produces an interesting picture and its retail offering continues to demonstrate its staying power.
Of a total of 130 units in Eldon Square only six remain vacant, this equates to a vacancy rate of 4.6%. Other sources Experian and Cushman and Wakefield vary in their estimation of vacancy rates but suggest that the national average is between 15 to 20%. Generally, the city centre has appeared to be busy throughout the summer and footfall in Eldon Square is 7% up on the same period last year.

Development has continued at a positive pace with the new St Andrews Way extension, which replaces Whitecross Way, due to open in February 2010 and is almost completely let. Debenhams are already shop fitting and the interior of the mall is taking shape with some finishes already complete. The scheme will transform Eldon Square and the city centre and will certainly put Newcastle back into the top 10 retail destinations within the UK.

River Island, New Look, Republic, Tesco, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Top Shop and Poundland have already given the scheme a vote of confidence and exchanged contracts. Developers, Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) will be announcing deals for the remainder of the main mall shortly and some international retailers new to the city centre will join the line-up.
Looking at the well-established doorways, the existing scheme is still trading above expectations during the construction of the new mall and the strength of the market has seen several deals complete recently.

Canadian-based Lemon Accessories have acquired the prominent corner unit fronting Chevy Chase and Douglas Way. Serendipity Cards have opened in St Georges Way opposite Waitrose. O’Briens are currently shop fitting the former McDonalds unit in High Friars and the US-based Marble Slab Creamery, selling premium ice cream in a way that can only be described as pure theatre, will open their first store in England. Greg Philips has opened a premium brand bakery/patisserie – Nichols – on Blackett Bridge and judging from the scrum around the shop, he has certainly captured the imagination and taste buds of Newcastle’s shoppers. Love Forever, a local accessories retailer, has acquired a unit in Douglas Way opposite Swarovski.

To date, a total of 12 lettings have completed in 2009 with other deals likely to be announced shortly.

Looking ahead, Eldon Square will see a transformation during 2010 – some 36 years since it became the original city centre retail regeneration project. Many of the UK’s cities have sought to emulate this with the likes of Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham having only just caught up in the past couple of years. St Andrews Way will recapture the imagination of the free-spending Geordie nation and will once again gain entry to the premier league of shopping destinations.

The MetroCentre has also steamed ahead this year to unveil a shopping, leisure and dining experience at a time when other retail schemes elsewhere in the UK have put the brakes on their expansion plans, says Sarah Ross of Sanderson Weatherall. The £45m redevelopment of its Yellow Mall, known as MetroCentre Qube, has attracted a host of national restaurant brands to take up residence in the new area.

With the first phase of development complete, names including Pizza Express, Yo! Sushi, Frankie & Benny’s, Nando’s and The Red House have been quick to opened their doors and kitchens to customers. From November 2009, Namco Funscape, with bowling alley and dodgems, will open and in December 2009 the new Odeon cinema, complete with 3D screen and IMAX theatre, will launch adding to its ever-increasing leisure offering and completing the development. Elsewhere, fashion brands Bench, Henleys and Superdry have all taken occupation within high-profile Central Mall units in recent months. Within the Red Mall, Next has opened its newly extended and refurbished store, offering 38,000sq ft of floor space and re-branded a unit for its young fashion brand Lipsy. Levi’s has completed on circa 2,500sq ft to strengthen the offering further and Dorothy Perkins in the Green Mall has also undergone an impressive extension.

MetroCentre has always appealed to a wide range of retailers and it’s this combination that has contributed to making the scheme a key retail destination for the North East. Investment has continued to keep it at the forefront of retailing and while the market remains very challenging, we are seeing positive signs for improved economic growth next year. The next few months are likely to show further unpredictability as we witness increased petrol prices which will no doubt impact on the level of retail activity to some out-of-town destinations. However, owners Capital Shopping Centres should be feeling confident about MetroCentre’s unique blend of retail and leisure offering ensuring visitors return again and again.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 02:25 PM   #56
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...and with it will come in due course the revitalisation of Clayton Street and other nearby streets.
Pure speculation, that, surely?
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Old October 21st, 2009, 03:10 PM   #57
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Pure speculation, that, surely?
Yes, nice to read, but I think we (on here) all know the realities . . . sadly.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 07:09 PM   #58
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Yes, re-create the old Prudhoe Street that was always there until circa 1976. Standing on Northumberland Street, you had the original 'Northumberland Arms' (pretty much where the current one is) on the left hand corner, and M & S on the right hand corner, and you could walk up Prudhoe Street past the Prudhoe Street Mission on your right, which I think was a building that had become (may be wrong) the 'Dole Office', all the way to Percy Street. I have a photo somewhere, I'll try to insert it later.

But, a good idea to do what you suggest elliot.
Here are the promised Prudhoe Street photos. I think it is interesting to see the 'original' Northumberland Arms, knowing it is standing pretty much where the new one (post-1976) is now . . .

Looking up Prudhoe Street from Northumberland Street to Percy Street. Note the 'old' M&S is still there, prior to it's own late 1960s development into its current building, which has since been extended again, of course


At the extreme left of the above photo is the Northumberland Arms . . you cannot see it above, so here it is

Last edited by Newcastle Historian; October 21st, 2009 at 07:14 PM.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 07:15 PM   #59
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looks better than the current cave entrance we have there now!
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Old October 21st, 2009, 07:18 PM   #60
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looks better than the current cave entrance we have there now!
Couldn't agree more! I never went there, but I remember it was my Dad's favourite watering hole in town. My Mother once told me she sometimes 'followed him there' to see what he got up to!!

Nothing changes . . .
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