Jobs boost as Northern Ireland shopping centres ring up new tenants
Two shopping centres have announced a selection of major new tenants in the run-up to Christmas. Belfast's Forestside is at full capacity after securing health food store Holland & Barrett. It will open its doors this month.
Other additions to the centre include jeweller Argento, which opened a new store in October, creating 35 new jobs, and the mobile phone accessories business Uberfone.
Darren Best, associate director at Savills, who acted jointly with Colliers in the deals, said: "The opening of Holland & Barrett, Argento and Uberfone mean the centre is now fully let, a reflection of the increasing popularity of Forestside as the choice retail destination.
"The addition of these new brands will enhance the existing retail mix on offer to customers within the centre."
Foyleside Shopping Centre in Londonderry has also landed three new businesses.
That includes Swarovski, which will open just before Christmas, while the Card Factory and Uberfone stores have also recently opened their doors.
"The level of retail interest at Foyleside has been very encouraging and has been buoyed by cross-border traffic as a result of currency fluctuations," Mr Best explained.
"We are seeing new retailers who have established themselves in Belfast beginning to consider provincial expansion."
Savills said it was in discussions with a number of other new retail brands for Northern Ireland, and was likely to announce the stores soon.
Meanwhile, entertainment sales chain CeX is creating 10 jobs with a new store at the Kennedy Centre in West Belfast.
The business now has more than a dozen stores in Northern Ireland.
John Jones, centre manager for the Kennedy Centre, said: "We are looking forward to welcoming CeX to the centre, further improving our offer to our customers and creating 10 new jobs for west Belfast. We have had a very successful year and our tenants are all reporting year on year growth.
"We have a wide array of national retailers, including JD Sports, Boots, Peacocks, O'Neills sportswear and Argento as well as a diverse mix of food retailers such as Burger King, Subway, Costa and Greggs.
"The opening of CeX means that we are now fully let on the ground floor and all of our retailers are reporting growth."
Lambert Smith Hampton acted on behalf of the landlord.
Ryan Kee, retail director at Lambert Smith Hampton, said: "The Kennedy Centre continues to work hard to improve and attract new retailers, and today's announcement that CeX will open ahead of the Christmas rush is great news.
"This scheme is performing well and looking ahead to 2017 with optimism with several more deals approaching the final stages of negotiations.
"We look forward to being able to make similar announcements in the future."
Just last month, it was revealed that more than 50 new jobs were being created with the opening of two new businesses at Cityside Retail and Leisure Park in Belfast - including a huge new indoor miniature golf centre, Lost City Golf.
It is also understood that GymCo will create around 40 jobs at a new premises in Cityside.