St David's yesterday (September 24, 2009) unveiled the first phase of a new era in retailing for Cardiff with the opening of the John Lewis department store, a first for Wales and the second largest in the UK.
St David's Partnership, the joint venture between Land Securities and Capital Shopping Centres, also confirmed that the scheme is now 66% let by floor space.
Neil Carron, Project Director for St David's Partnership, said: "The opening of John Lewis is the first step in the unveiling of a premier retail environment for Cardiff's shoppers, providing more choice and enhancing the city's reputation as a leading European city. St David's will be showcasing many retailers that are either new to the city or trading in new formats and we continue to see strong interest from other retailers who want to be part of Cardiff's shopping renaissance."
Liz Mihell, Department Store Manager, commented on the opening of John Lewis Cardiff: "John Lewis is excited to be opening its first department store in Wales and to be playing such an important part in St David's new retail offer. We are launching a new fashion concept for Cardiff shoppers with more than 200 fashion brands including Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney lingerie as exclusive lines."
St David's will extend the existing shopping center to provide a total 1.4 million ft² (129,135 m²) of retail space in the heart of Cardiff and the center's doors will open to customers on Thursday October 22, revealing the two-level grand arcade which will showcase the best of the UK high street.
On October 22, it is anticipated that approximately 50 new shops will be opening their doors for the first time, with over half of these making their Welsh debut. This will bring the total number of trading stores up to 100 across the expanded St David's center. A further 30 retailers are getting set to open before Christmas, with additional openings scheduled into early 2010.
L'Occitane, Jane Norman, Thomas Sabo, Lakeland, Faith, Menkind, Bellini's and Pret a Manger are the latest occupiers to join the already impressive line up at St David's which includes iconic brands such as Hugo Boss, Cult and Links of London.
The strength of St David's offer and the Cardiff catchment has drawn many retailers new to Wales such as Kurt Geiger, Radley, All Saints, Quiksilver, LK Bennett, Folli Follie, Ollie & Nic, Crabtree & Evelyn and Jack & Jones. Other retailers, such as H&M, will open a second store in the Welsh capital to enable them to stock a full product range for the first time, while fashion label Cult will open a flagship store and Mothercare will see a return to trading in the city center.
Cardiff city has some 27 million shoppers and 10 million tourists each year, and the extended St David's will promote Cardiff into the UK's top 10 retail destinations.
Source: Land Securities