M&G Real Estate secures boutique.Goldsmiths for the Friary Centre, Guildford

M&G Real Estate has signed boutique.Goldsmiths, ‘the UK’s destination for fashion watches and jewellery’. This will be the brand’s first store in Guildford, allowing the fashion watch and jewellery retailer to capitalise on the area’s growing affluent demographic and its reputation as one of the most attractive retail destinations in the South East.

boutique.Goldsmiths will occupy a 1,085 sq ft unit at the heart of the scheme on a 10-year lease. The store is expected to open its doors to customers in autumn 2015.

The deal coincides with a letting to Maccheroni, which has signed to take 741 sq ft on a five-year lease. The independent pasta bar has plans to grow its business in the South East and has committed to The Friary as its first step towards successful expansion.

It has been a strong year for The Friary, with Zara opening a 20,000 sq ft anchor store last week, and Superdry, which relocated from elsewhere in Guildford in order to upsize to an 8,000 sq ft unit, opening this week.

New lettings over the past year have totalled over 35,000 sq ft, including Zara, Superdry and Maccheroni, as well as lettings to Tiger, Vodafone, Sia Beauty and Australian stationery retailer Smiggle.

Scott Linard, Director, Asset Management & Leasing for M&G Real Estate, said: “boutique.Goldsmiths and Maccheroni join The Friary at a time of significant retailer interest in the scheme, while Guildford goes from strength to strength as one of the South East’s dominant fashion hubs. We continue to employ a proactive asset management strategy to ensure The Friary’s position is recognised as pivotal to the retail sector’s growth in this region.

“Having chosen the centre as its first store location in Guildford, boutique.Goldsmiths’ commitment to The Friary is testament to the scheme’s ability to provide retailers with the desired unit sizes and floor plans, as well as customer footfall and dwell time.”

Lunson Mitchenall and Time Retail Partners acted for M&G Real Estate, and boutique.Goldsmiths represented themselves.