Hammerson flagship destinations to reopen from 15 June
British property development and investment company Hammerson has revealed its flagship shopping centres, including the Bullring & Grand Central in Birmingham and Brent Cross in north London, will reopen from 15 June.
Following the new government guidelines on non-essential retailers being able to get back to business from mid-June, other major shopping centres in Hammerson’s portfolio gearing up for the reopening are Cabot Circus in Bristol, Victoria Leeds, Highcross in Leicester, Oracle in Reading, Westquay in Southampton and Centrale in Croydon.
The individual centre websites have the latest information on which stores will be opening, though this is up to the individual retailer and may change as they are still a fortnight away from the scheduled reopening of the centres.
The news follows the reopening of four destinations in France last month. Additionally, across Hammerson’s premium outlets portfolio, nine of the 11 VIA Outlets schemes are trading, with the first of those reopening back in April. Three of the VIA Outlets schemes have remained open throughout.
Five of the nine European Value Retail Villages are currently trading, with designer outlet Bicester Village also expected to reopen on 15 June.
Of Hammerson’s eight retail parks, seven have been open for essential retail during the lockdown period, and all but one of the parks will fully reopen on 15 June.
Commenting on the reopening of Hammerson’s flagship destinations, Mark Bourgeois, UK and Ireland managing director, said: “We have developed a comprehensive set of measures to keep people safe and we have technology in place to allow us to monitor visitor numbers, to ensure there are never too many people in our spaces at any one time.
“What is clear from our reopening experience in France, and across the premium outlets portfolio, is that consumers are adjusting to how to shop in this new environment. Sales levels at these destinations have been encouraging to date, although it is still very early days.”
Hammerson created a dedicated working group to direct and coordinate preparations for reopening its destinations across the portfolio back in April. As part of this initiative, comprehensive plans tailored to each centre’s footprint, footfall, and tenant base have been created to ensure social distancing and safety guidance is clear.
Hammerson has also been in regular contact with all the brands in its centres to ensure that they are updating their processes, and that they have the support they need from an operations perspective.