The major new extension of St David's shopping center opened its doors today after three years in construction, unveiling over 50 new shops in a transformed city center. St David's partnership, the joint venture between Land Securities and Capital Shopping Centres, celebrated the opening of the extension which it is now 70% let by floor space.
The combined 1.4 million ft² (130,000 m²) center, which boasts the largest John Lewis department store outside London and is also anchored by Debenhams and Marks and Spencer, will showcase the best of the UK high street in its new two level grand arcade, a modern adaptation of the Victorian arcades which are a popular feature of the city. It is estimated that over 30 million shopper visits will be made to the enlarged shopping center over the next 12 months.
Richard Akers, Managing Director Land Securities Retail, commented on the opening: "Today's celebration is the culmination of many years' hard work and as long term investors in Cardiff, the Partnership is immensely proud of St David's and the positive changes it has brought to the city center, harnessing its spirit and imbuing a sense of confidence for the future. We are certain that the enlarged St David's will prove very popular with shoppers in Wales and will become one of the leading retail destinations in the UK."
Kay Chaldecott, Managing Director, Capital Shopping Centres, added: "The Partnership today unveils a world class shopping centre and improved public realm befitting one of Europe's leading capital cities. St David's delivers our ambition for quality retail in Cardiff, providing a strong retail line up which includes many retailers new to Cardiff and we are confident we will build upon this offer by drawing further quality brands to Wales."
Rodney Berman, Leader of Cardiff City Council, congratulated the Partnership on the opening of St David's: "The St David's development is definitely one of the most ambitious and impressive strategic partnership projects in Cardiff's history. It is testament to the shared vision and commitment of Cardiff Council and St David's Partnership a vision that has now become reality and will significantly enhance the face of shopping in Cardiff for generations. St David's is expected to attract more than £250 mln. of new spending to Cardiff city centre each year and establish our capital city as one of the top retail destinations in Europe. In addition, the development has created thousands of new jobs which are crucial to the economy of the city and the wider region."
Liz Mihell, Department Store Manager, John Lewis Cardiff, said: "John Lewis Cardiff had an extremely successful opening last month when our first shop in Wales was launched as part of St David's new retail offer. The reaction from shoppers has been outstanding and sales have exceeded expectations. Fashion has been the star performer and our new concept womenswear department has been well received. The strength of assortment in our home and electrical and technology departments is bringing a new dimension to the high street in Cardiff for the first time in several years".
Iconic brands and leading retailers continue to sign up to St David's to join a line up which includes Apple, Cult, Radley, All Saints, Quiksilver, LK Bennett, Folli Follie, Ollie & Nic, Crabtree & Evelyn and Kurt Geiger. For some retailers it will be an opportunity to open a flagship store in the center or a second store in the capital of Wales which will enable them to stock a full product range for the first time.
The mixed use development includes some 300 residential units and the Partnership has invested over £675 million in its delivery. The investment includes some £20 million which has been spent on improvements to the public realm including an environmentally leading civic library which has been recognised as Project of the Year & Sustainability by Constructing Excellence.
Source: Land Securities