intu signs up new coffee shop brand BEAR for intu Derby

Up-and-coming coffee shop operator BEAR is opening at intu Derby next month as it works with owner intu to launch its first shopping centre location targeting the destination’s high footfall.

The 3,000 sq. ft intu Derby site forms part of BEAR’s plans to launch a number of new venues nationwide.

The independent business was founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs Craig Bunting and Michael Thorley who took inspiration from Australia’s vibrant coffee shop culture to create a new speciality coffee, casual dining and craft cocktail offer for the UK market.

BEAR has three successful Midlands sites in Uttoxeter, Stone and Derby’s Cathedral quarter and opened a fourth in Soho earlier this year.

Craig Bunting, BEAR’s co-founder, said: “We’ve traded successfully on the high street for a few years so we’re excited to be taking space within such a hugely popular shopping centre for the first time. This forms part of our future expansion strategy as we explore how a proudly independent business like BEAR can flourish within a high footfall retail and leisure destination like intu Derby.”

“Our ambition has always been to create something different for the UK by offering sociable spaces with a coffee-focused, all day and evening offer, so we think we can really complement intu Derby’s great mix of brands and provide something very special for its high footfall.”

International retailer BOSS is also opening a new store at intu Derby in the autumn to appeal to the city’s affluent catchment population, with research by personal finance firm showing that people in Derby have the highest disposable income compared to any other UK city.

Nick Round, regional managing director at intu, said: “intu is well placed to help brands expand into the shopping centre market in this way thanks to our national presence and expertise.

“BEAR is an exciting concept that will offer a fantastic new experience for intu Derby’s high footfall of visitors. We can’t wait to see them thrive here.”