Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland retail centre for sale with £18m price tag

Bow Street Mall in Lisburn
Bow Street Mall in Lisburn
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

One of Northern Ireland's best-known shopping centres has gone on the market for £18m.

Bow Street Mall in Lisburn is home to anchor retailers Primark, Dunnes Stores, Poundworld and Menarys.

Selling agents McKibbins and Savills, which have been instructed to sell by owner Pat McCormack, describe the centre as "the dominant retail offer" in the city, but said it also served the wider Belfast area.

A Marks & Spencer Simply Food outlet that had operated on the site closed down last month.

Bow Street Mall's catchment population is given as 672,600 people, with an annual footfall of 3.2 million.

The brochure sums up the financial status of the catchment population as "comfortable", though "skewing towards some of the most prosperous household groups in the UK".

It's likely that the centre's Primark outlet will benefit from additional footfall while the retail giant's Belfast flagship store remains closed following a devastating fire in August.

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Michael Hopkins, a partner in McKibbin Commercial, said: "McKibbin Commercial and Savills are delighted to be instructed to sell this substantial city centre shopping centre and expect strong demand from local and national buyers who seek to improve and revitalise this prime city centre asset."

The centre had been part of the property portfolio of KFC franchise holder Michael Herbert, well-known for the office properties he's named after his wife Lesley.

However, he and Lesley have resigned as directors of Bow Street Mall Ltd, although Mr McCormack remains a director of the business.

Bow Street Mall is the first major shopping centre here to come on to the market since CastleCourt was sold last year.

The £125m paid for CastleCourt was one of the biggest single transactions to take place here in recent years. Co Down investment firm Wirefox took over the centre, which had been owned by Hermes Fund Managers Limited since 2012.

But the proposed sale takes place at a difficult time for the retail sector.

According to a report today, the UK high street is suffering its worst year on record as sales decline.

Sales were down 2.7% year-on-year in September, marking the eighth consecutive negative month for in-store buying and the 12th month since growth exceeded 1% for retailers, according to advisory firm BDO's High Street Sales Tracker.

Belfast Telegraph