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Discussion Starter #1
Every other City Sub Forum has a seperate Retail thread, so it is about time there is one for Cardiff.

A new planning application has gone in for the proposed Gym at Capitol Centre, to use more space within the centre for the Gym.

Units SU 28-29, Capitol Shopping Centre, Queen Street

Change of use of vacant retail units at first floor level (SU 28-29) to health and fitness use (D2) to be operated in conjunction with approved application 11/1673/DCI.
http://planning.cardiff.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=_CARDIFF_DCAPR_98939

It will no longer be The Gym Group who open here instead it will be Easy Gym.

Also it looks like Azendi on The Hayes will be closing down and Fred Perry opening here, a planning application has gone online for new store signage.

12 THE HAYES, MORGAN ARCADE, CITY CENTRE, CARDIFF, CF10 1AH

ILLUMINATED AND NON ILLUMINATED STORE SIGNAGE
http://planning.cardiff.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=_CARDIFF_DCAPR_98950
 

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Interesting about Azendi ==> Fred Perry. Looks like its a lease assignment, as I think Azendi is still trading (although it might have been a franchise). Jewellers were some of the good traders in St Davids, at least initially: maybe the sector is doing less well now, or maybe Azendi never really took off.

I think turnover of Cardiff retailers, outside St Davids, has been fairly limited recently, probably explaining the lack of forum. The big opportunity at the moment is the old Habitat building which I think may be subdivided.
 

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I'd agree that most of the city centre has held up well despite SD2 introducing a huge amount of new units. According to an infomercial in the WM it's now hit 90% let and that there are other lettings lined up for 2012 (other than River Island, Schuh and Dwell which we already know about).

The part of the city centre that is struggling a bit is the eastern end of Queen St. The Barclays Bank building has been empty for a good few months. Schuh looks like a re-location to SD2 rather than an additional store. Clarks now have 3 branches in the city centre which surely can't be sustainable. If they close a branch its likely to be the one currently next to Schuh.

A little further up Game are struggling - they have another branch in SD2. If they want to offload one of the city centre stores I'd imagine it would be the Queen St branch. And Peacocks have been looking to get rid of their Queen St store ever since the one in SD2 opened. With it going into admin I'd say this becomes a probability.

Of more concern is the Capitol centre. A large swathe of the upstairs will be turned over for a gym. I've heard a rumour that Tesco's are looking at the ground floor as well. Internacionale have opened in SD2 - how long before the Capitol branch is closed?

There are also a lot of stores in the Capitol that have branches elsewhere in the city such as H&M, Fat Face, Boots etc. Will they be looking to bring leases to an end? Plus if the centre becomes a Tesco/gym/temporary outlet hybrid how much longer will the likes of Austin Reed, Jaeger, Phase Eight want to be associated with it? I would have thought St Davids would be a better fit for them anyway.

If I was the owner of the Capitol I would be seriously considering the direction I wanted it to go in. I'm not sure if it has a long term future as a retail destination. I also can't see it becoming a city centre version of the Red Dragon centre (the Millenium Plaza and Cineworld complex are also competing for that slice of the action) - particularly as the council have declared Churchill Way as a 'saturation zone' which means no new alcohol licences will be granted in the vicinity. That probably means that any idea's about turning it into something like the Omni centre in Edinburgh are dead in the water. It also leaves the plans for the bowling place for adults that was mooted for the basement unlikely to go forward.

It could become a centre for the 'cheaper' end of the market but it seems that the Queens Arcade seem to be making a grab for that niche with retailers such as Argos and Wilkinsons. So where does that leave the Capitol?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The People’s Supermarket reviews plans for first Wales store

2 February 2012

Social enterprise, The People’s Supermarket (TPS), has announced it’s currently reviewing plans to support the opening of an upcoming store in Cardiff.

Plans for ‘Siop y Bobl’, Welsh for ‘The People’s Shop’ www.siopybobl.co.uk, are being co-ordinated by six volunteers from the local community and already has hundreds of potential members pledging their support.

Rebecca Clark, from the Siop y Bobl core team, said: “It’s great news that The People’s Supermarket is looking to support the opening of a store in Cardiff and make its first mark in Wales. We have been hugely inspired by the success of the stores in London and hope to create an independent, people-powered alternative to supermarkets. This project is not just about opening another shop, it’s about creating a community around food, sustainability and happy, healthy living. It is as much abou*t people as it is about food.”

The opening of ‘Siop y Bobl’ in Wales will be supported by the People’s Supermarket “Brick by Brick” campaign which will give the public the chance to buy a £1 ‘brick’, to fund future expansion. The People’s Supermarket is also offering the business community the opportunity to join the campaign, through sponsorship and their corporate social responsibility activities.

TPS believes that the joining of these two communities will deliver a positive and lasting difference to people’s lives and the environment. Members of the public and supporters of The People’s Supermarket can buy their “bricks” online at www.thepeoplessupermarket.org

With full details for Cardiff People’s Supermarket yet to be fully confirmed, the announcement follows hard on the heels of a new site launch for a store in Hackney, East London. The People’s Supermarket offers a different business solution – one that is community driven, not solely commercially driven.

As Kate Bull CEO, The People’s Supermarket said: “The principle of the TPS is that it is ‘driven by the people for the people’. Having Siop y Bobl in Cardiff would be another example of the fulfilment of a close relationship with the local council, community and traders, which is an important step towards creating stronger, more sustainable cities. We are hoping to work with The Cardiff Siop y Bobl team to bring their plans to fruition in the near future.”
http://www.talkingretail.com/news/independent-news/the-people’s-supermarket-reviews-plans-for-first-wales-store
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Retailer Shoon collapses into administration

Leonie Barrie

9 February 2012

Family owned footwear and clothing retailer Shoon Limited has collapsed into administration after failing to sell some of its loss-making shops.

The company operates 23 retail stores, most of which are in the South of England, and employs around 280 people.

The administrators are continuing to trade the business while a buyer is sought - but have warned there may be some redundancies and some under-performing stores might be closed.

"In spite of our best efforts over recent years, the weak market and the fact we have been unable to economically dispose of our loss-making shops, we believe we are left with no alternative but to enter into administration," Shoon's directors and owners said in a statement.

"The current management team will be working with the administrator to seek to preserve the Shoon brand in a profitable and sustainable format."

Ian Robert, administrator and partner at Kingston Smith & Partners, added: "Given its sound reputation and dedicated management team, we have already received a number of expressions of interest in Shoon and we are confident that a purchaser can be found."
http://www.just-style.com/news/retailer-shoon-collapses-into-administration_id113436.aspx
 

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Past Times have a sign in their St Davids store saying it will close next week. Just before Xmas that part of the centre was fully let - within months Hawkins Bazaar, Priceless Shoes, Past Times and Americandy have all bailed leaving it looking like a poster for recession Britain.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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Looks like it's the same people behind Loungers - Juno Lounge in Wellfield Rd, also one in Penarth and Whitchurch (names escape me).

They are pretty good although a bit self conciously wacky. A civilised drinking atmosphere although if you go there too often it gets a bit tiresome I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hobbs Cardiff reinvents itself as an outlet

Emily Woodrow, South Wales Echo

Feb 16 2012

Hobbs Cardiff reinvents itself as a high street outlet store, the first of its kind in Britain

FASHION retailer Hobbs has turned its Cardiff Queen Street store into an outlet – its first high street outlet in the whole of the UK.

It is the first outlet in Wales for Hobbs, joining another six the brand has nationwide selling clothes at discounted prices.

While the rest of its cut price stores are within retail outlet parks, the company says it is excited about Hobbs Cardiff being on the high street.

A marketing spokeswoman said: “Cardiff is a dynamic and growing city and we believe this is a real chance to expand the business there.

“We see huge opportunities being in such a thriving capital and not out of town, and we think our existing, and also future customers, will enjoy being able to walk into the city centre to visit our outlet.

“Hobbs Cardiff has always been a strong performing store within the portfolio and we already have a fantastic existing customer base.

“However in the current economic climate and with a nation of shoppers who are increasingly conscious of their spending habits, retailers including us are looking at how they communicate with their customers in order to deliver the best possible service.”

The retailer hopes that changing its Cardiff shop to an outlet will encourage a new wave of shoppers to visit.

“We’ve got a great store team who will ensure that every customer who comes through the door will receive a high level of personal service.

“Hobbs outlets offer last year’s seasonal stock but at reduced prices – up to 50% off.

“There’s no compromise on quality or craftsmanship and in some cases we have designed new styles of product especially for the outlet customer. It’s about competitive prices for elegantly stylish clothes.”

Store manager Jessica Thomas added: “The reaction from our customers so far has been brilliant, and unsurprisingly so – some of the prices are phenomenal.

“Everything comes in with at least 33% off and we have a lot of occasionwear at half price, some down from £159 to £64.

“Customers tell us they’ve had Hobbs pieces for years and because it’s such good quality they can bring it out season after season.

“It’s just classic, timeless fashion, but now thanks to the outlet, you can get it cheaper than normal.”
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/showbiz-and-lifestyle/style-and-shopping-in-wales/2012/02/16/hobbs-cardiff-reinvents-itself-as-an-outlet-91466-30338768/
 

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That is a really good spot for a restaurant looking out over the hayes. However ocho lounge, juno lounge etc are more cafe, bar types - so don't know if this will be similar or something a bit more up-market
 

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Discussion Starter #14
About The Cosy Club.

About us

Quirky, eccentric and playful the Cosy Club offers informal casual dining, drinking and lounging in a homely and family friendly environment.

‘Think gents club meets village hall meets cricket pavilion.’

A bit of knife and fork...

The Cosy Club's menu majors on comfort food classics as well as offering an extensive brunch menu, a decent variety of sandwiches, and a great selection of tapas.

Reservations can be made the old-fashioned way (in person or by telephone) or by new-fangled means such as email or even through this web site (go to the relevant Cosy Club page and book through Restaurant Diary). Splendid!

Pass the Port...

Whatever your tipple the Cosy Club aims to please. You can expect great coffee (and cake), an imaginative soft drinks selection, a good selection of draught beer/cider/ale, a compact list of decent plonk, a nicely proportioned list of classic cocktails and a cracking back bar.

The Cosy style...

The interior of a Cosy Club is cosy (strangely enough), impressive and a bit mad! Eras and styles clash in an eccentric, eclectic fantasia. The furniture is a mixture of tables & dining chairs, battered old club chairs, and sleek 1930's sofas. On the walls you've see oil paintings, banners, flags, a splash of taxidermy and all sorts of unusual pictures and prints. Lighting is soft and sumptuous.

We love working with the features of the each of the buildings the Cosy Club's inhabit - there may be some exposed brick, some wooden panelling, and some bare concrete all complemented by contemporary glass and chrome (not to mention dark, heavy drapes and net curtains).
http://www.cosyclub.co.uk/about-us
 

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Looks like it's the same people behind Loungers - Juno Lounge in Wellfield Rd, also one in Penarth and Whitchurch (names escape me).

They are pretty good although a bit self conciously wacky. A civilised drinking atmosphere although if you go there too often it gets a bit tiresome I think.
Ocho lounge in Penarth. It's a good wine bar cum coffee shop. A good mix. They are obviously doing well to try the city centre. Good luck to them, I always like it in there, it is relaxed, the food is decent and the prices are reasonable.
 

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I quite often go to the Juno Lounge in Roath. It's a decent place and the people behind it have hit on a formula that seems to work - open up places in fairly well to do neighbourhoods with an offering that attracts custom throughout the day. It effortlessly morphs from a sort of ladies that lunch hangout into a decent bar and attracts quite a varied clientele. BUT sometimes you need to go somewhere with a bit of salt if you know what I mean - it can all be a bit too middle class and trendy student in there if you go too often. I tend to mix it up with a trip to the Claude, the Albany, the Crofts etc.

I'd definately go to the Cosy Club in the city centre (not that I drink in town too often these days) and it does offer something different.
 

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I quite often go to the Juno Lounge in Roath. It's a decent place and the people behind it have hit on a formula that seems to work - open up places in fairly well to do neighbourhoods with an offering that attracts custom throughout the day. It effortlessly morphs from a sort of ladies that lunch hangout into a decent bar and attracts quite a varied clientele. BUT sometimes you need to go somewhere with a bit of salt if you know what I mean - it can all be a bit too middle class and trendy student in there if you go too often. I tend to mix it up with a trip to the Claude, the Albany, the Crofts etc.

I'd definately go to the Cosy Club in the city centre (not that I drink in town too often these days) and it does offer something different.
I know what you mean Karl, if you're on a session it's not the type of place you'd stay. You might start there but it would be quite transient. It's a good place but lacks that edge you refer to
 

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You're both bang on - I've been in Ocho lounge loads and one of the ones in Bristol and as much i really enjoy going there and having a nice Estrella, sometimes i look around and feel too middle class and have to run to Wehterspoons!
 

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I have spoken to Ocho lounge staff. they seemed quite shocked that i knew of the Cosy lounge. Anyway, the firm that owns them have about 20 loungers across Wales and the South West with I think it was about 5 or 6 cosy clubs. I was told they are a bit more select than the lounge in terms of food and drink but its still the same eclectic decor.

its quite exciting to have the regions own mini brewery that offers something a bit more than your typical alehouse fayre.
 
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