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Hi All, this is my first thread on the new fangled forum, I have been an observer on here for a very long time but now the forum has more structure I feel it will be easier for me to find particular topics that interest me, well done on getting it sorted.
On the topic of shopping in Newcastle I must say it is hugely dissapointing the fact that the majority of the openings in the new ES extension are relocations, I personally hate Elson Square and have always found it dark and claustraphobic (at least the MC has an airy feel about it). Market Street was a massive missed opportuntiy, I used to work in Jigsaw Menswear/UTH and there used to be a great 'buzz' aroundn that are. Of course there were always the rumours of big retailers arriving 'imminently' along that strip of shops but what did we get?TJ bloody Hughes, whilst i acknowledge there is a market for that demographic it was seriously poorly thought out about having that as the anchor store. The truth was however they were REALLY struggling at the time to fill some of the units so guess they just took the hand off the first retailer that came along, just think how nice that area could have been! I dont get into town much but when I do I really feel the area is stgarting to look shabby, a real shame considering how much was spent doing the spaces up. I also remember the huge amount of wasted space in those buildings, there was nothing done to the upper floors of the buildings and below the store i worked in there was a MASSIVE floor plate not used in the basement!I presume the other stores were the same.
I really hope something gets done about that area and of course East Pilgrim Stree, I am a teacher and show my students around GraingerTown as part of their course and all the students comment on the poor state of repair of the area next to the Fire Station/Popolo etc, its also very embarrasing when you take visitors around that area to the bars as it looks terrible, shame really as some great buildings around there! The fire station imo would make an amazing boutique hotel or department store, and as for the old odeon site, that is a traversty it has been allowed to decay for so long, anyway rant over for now!:)
 

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A store that I feel is missing in Newcastle is the Habitat furniture/home furnishings store, they sell loads of cool mid range pieces and loads of nice decorative items for the home. Currently the nearest one is either Edinburgh or York. I emailed them several years back and they were really keen to find a location, could ES possibly be the solution? Many many years ago there was one in ES anyway. I often buy stuff from there but its a real pain haviong to pay to get it mailed out, would love it if it opened up here and I think it would do pretty well too!
 

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cool that you have that image, I think the problem back then was Habitiat was a little ahead of its time for Newcastle, if it were to open today I'm sure it would do well, good furniture/homewares is something we lack in Newcastle Barker and Stonehouse is OK but all the stuff they sell you can get much cheaper on the net. Another good store that should open would be MUJI, again most large cities have these, we really need to be brought up to speed in that department.
 

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The store that is missing that really surprises me is Gap and BabyGap I know there used to be a presence at MC and even The Bridges in Sunderland but not in Newcastle. Its not as if its selling high end fashion way out of reach of us Geordies!Its pretty standard fodder and only a little more expensive than H&M. Will be interesting to see what goes in the old Topshop/Topman site its a strange unit to fill tbh, I cant really see anyone like Urban Outfitters locating there as the row of shops in front of it leading down to Monument entrance is a real skid row!
 

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I wonder if there will be more money spent on the rest of Elson Square once ES South opens?I only ask as to me it looks like it will be very light and airy (similar to Red Mall in MC) the rest of ES had always seemed to me to be dark but thats just my personal opinion, I personally hate that area next to the entrance on Northumberland Street, there never seems to be a good flow of people and for such a prominent location there seems to be a high (ish)n turnover of stores around there.
 

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Been away in Ireland for a few days so \aint been able to post, was visiting family but had to pass through Belfast city centre on way to airport, I have to say I was pretty impressed witht the little I saw. Looks like a lot of money is/has been spent there. There were some beautiful old buildings with some great independant stores. We had a coffee and bight to eat in a lovely shop selling high end homeware, think it was called equinox? myself and my wife both commented upon how there is a lack of small independant stores like that in Newcastle city centre, I feel places like this really add to a city centres retail offerings rather than the usual fodder. I think EPS would be an ideal opportunity for places liket his to be placed offering something a little different.
 

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If you could get rid of TJ Hughes we could start again- maybe they could relocate to the old Co-op building? Just an idea.


This makes sense to me!
 

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The way to attract high end reatilers would be a new developement- which again is attarctive to retailers- they are built which are exactly what 21st Century retailers need- although Grainger Town buildings look lovely from outside they are a bugger to use for modern day retailers. As mentioned before the Odeon site on Pilgrim Street would be ideal. Near to Northumberland Street- not near the busy Bigg- Gate area and also close to Grey Street and the likes of Cruise and Vivienne. The pedestrianisation of the street from Northumberland to Market would help these plans.
But this doesnt answer the problem of Grainger Town. But what I am trying to say is Grainger Town has lost its chance to become high end retail and maybe, if it is to become retail- it will become more like Clayton Street.[/QUOTE]

I totally agree! Graingertown has imn my opinion missed the boat, as mentioned previously I used to work there in my student days working in Jigsaw Menswear,and there used to be a great little buzz, especially on a sat afternoon, but that has all but gone!
I feel the only real opportunity for an anchor store is a) Odeon site (which could be pedestarianised in front and along to Hood Street or b) the old Fire Station would make a great small department store but the surroundings let it down. Odeon could be really successful site!
 

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I believe that retail ought to remain the mainstay of Grainger Town and that 'high end' should predominate in the areas closer to Monument. However, 'high end retail' in the sense of fashion can and should be supported by a mix of complementary uses - for example, other forms of high-end retail, and selective conversion to food uses. Fitzgeralds' Cafe Royal is an excellent example of the sort of catering outlet that sits very well indeed in Graingertown, and, in juxtaposition with posh frock shops would appeal to 'ladies that lunch'. A high-class delicatessen, a posh kitchenmware shop, an expensive hi-fi shop, private art gallery between the clothes shops to create a sort of Bond Street effect. In fact, what we'd be looking at is Acorn Road on steroids.
Totally agree with this, diversification is key to success!
 

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habitat arent coming. there isnt a floorplate available. the new eldon development is 95% let and only smaller units for leisure are pretty much available.
zara are looking but not heard of them taking anything in newcastle.

urban outfitters claim it isnt in the scheme i.e. eldon or on northumberland street? so where is there a 12,000sqft plate in the city centre? either that or they are bluffing on there location.
Surely what will be the former Topshop/Topman unit would be ideal for Habitat?
I really wish they would open up here, at the munute we are seriously undercatered for in the home furnishings market. At one end we have Barker & Stonehouse (overpriced and most stuff can be found cheaper on the web) or IKEA which serves its purpose but there is nothing in between, Habitat or MUJI would fill that gap nicely!
 

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if they could break through the wall in those 5 sections that are on the blank wall on the right and fill with glazing I think it would look pretty good, would really open that area up as at present as mentioned it just blocks everything off. Surely would not be too difficult?
 

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Not exactly city centre retail but I see Borders has gone into administration. This got me thinking! The unit at Silverlink would be a great opportuntiy for Habitat to move into as this is what they have done in Leeds. They used to have a prominent site in the city centre then relocated to a retail park on the outskirts of Leeds. Just a thought anyway!
 

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Yeah I often pop in there for a coffee with the missus, must say it always seems busy to me when I go in, but like you say very expensive compared to using internet!
 

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apparently they are still gonna remain trading until/if they find a buyer so may still be open for a while yet. But I do think it would make a good furniture store too, I know I harp on and on about it but we are SO undercatered for in this area.
 

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I do think that NCC planning committee must be a bunch of muppets. CSC must be laughing all the way to the bank when you look at the cheap-shit materials and half-baked architecture they got away with. Grrrrrr.
Have to agree with you here, the new extension is a MASSIVE dissapointment when compared to the other pics, why do we get lumbered with shit like this? I hate the design!Maybe inside will look better but tbh I aint holding my breath. I know its been slated on here but the design of Liverpool ONE is pretty good in my opinion!Certainly better than what we have got! TBH i cant see any further redevelopment of Eldon Square being any better. It would be a huge undertaking to do anything anyway and I cant see CSC willing to spend any more than they need too!!:eek:hno:
 
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