Belfast Telegraph

The Outlet in Banbridge set for rebrand as The Boulevard

By Andrew Madden

The Outlet retail park in Banbridge will change its name next month as part of a rebranding phase.

Set to become known as The Boulevard, the shopping destination will see new signage rolled out across the site in the coming months.

The rebranding is the latest of several changes to the retail park in the last six months, including the installation of new mall covering to provide a sheltered walkway for visitors.

A new guest services area was also developed in recent months to improve customer service.

Since Lotus Group acquired the centre in 2016, the stores have seen a total investment of over £8m. The outlet shopping destination has also seen a rise in footfall of 20% since April 2016 and an increase in sales of 26% in the last two years.

Brands added to the retail park in the last year include ProCook, Jack and Jones, Ulster Weavers and The Beauty Outlet. 

Other brands which operate from The Outlet include Nike, Timberland, Calvin Klein, L.K. Bennett, Paul Costelloe and Jaeger.

Chris Nelmes, centre manager at retail park, said the launch of The Boulevard signifies a "real turning point" for the centre.

"We feel that we now have a much stronger brand identity that reflects everything that we have to offer to both local and international customers," he said.

"We can't wait for people to come down and experience the new look and feel of the centre for themselves throughout a series of events starting on March 24, which will officially mark the arrival of this new era in the shopping centre's history.

"We are continually working on attracting further brands that shoppers want, and consumers can expect to see more exciting developments in the pipeline this year."

Alastair Coulson, asset and property management director of The Lotus Group, said there are more improvements to be made this year.

"We plan to build upon the success of improvements already made to the site throughout the course of 2018 and we are confident that our new brand will not only give us a competitive edge but will encourage new high-profile tenants to set up shop," he said.

In December, 32 jobs were created at The Outlet as the result of a £500,000 investment which saw men's fashion outlet Jack & Jones, local home textiles firm Ulster Weavers and UK beauty retailer The Beauty Outlet open at the site.

In January 2016, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that The Outlet and The Junction in Antrim were both to be sold to The Lotus Group in a deal thought to be worth around £40m, making it one of the largest retail transactions that year. Both centres were marketed together and were originally for sale for around £60m.

The Outlet was owned by West Register - a firm set up by Ulster Bank's parent company RBS in order to manage distressed property assets following the financial crisis.

Belfast Telegraph

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.