Independent retailer finds success in town centres

Five shops opened seven months after launch with five more planned

22 June 2016

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Local independent retailer Miss Label vowed to support town centres when it opened its first shops in Bridgend and Llanelli. Just seven months later, the ladies’ fashion and accessories store is going from strength to strength and now has two additional shops in Blackwood and Merthyr Tydfil, with another planned opening for Carmarthen later this month. Ben Davies, Senior Surveyor with Cooke & Arkwright’s Retail & Leisure team advised the respective landlords on the lettings in Bridgend, Llanelli and Blackwood, and is currently acting for New River Retail for their fifth store opening at Merlin’s Walk in Carmarthen.

He said, “It’s great to see a retailer test the market and then show a vote of confidence by converting to a permanent lease in town centres. We had originally agreed temporary leases with Miss Label in the Rhiw Shopping Centre in Bridgend and St Elli Shopping Centre in Llanelli. Since then they have taken a permanent lease in Caroline Street, Bridgend, where they have acquired substantially more space to meet their demand, and have also committed to a long lease in St Elli Shopping Centre. It’s encouraging to see local retailers succeed in still challenging conditions and importantly, determined to have a town centre presence.”

Cooke & Arkwright is also representing Miss Label in relation to business rates on all five shops to mitigate their rates liability for the 2010 Rating List and 2017 Rating Revaluation.

The Miss Label retail venture was started by Gary Bailey and Andrew Owen in October 2014. Mr Bailey has over 25 years’ experience in retail, being a former regional manager for New Look and River Island, and Mr Owen owns a hotel in Cardiff.

Mr Owen commented, “We had seen a massive gap in the market as lots of the majors had opted to go to out of town shopping centres.  We felt that if we could bring a good quality product at a reasonable price coupled with fantastic customer service, it would be well received.  So far this has been true.  We hope to open another five stores in the next 12 months.”

Cooke & Arkwright have provided independent property consultancy services to the College for a number of years. This advice has included property valuations and negotiation around property acquisition and disposal, rent reviews and the preparation and negotiation of the College’s farm business tenancy agreement. The College has consistently received an excellent and professional service from Cooke & Arkwright and their valuable support to the College is recognised and appreciated.

Bob Bates, Director, Coleg Gwent