The opening of a £30 million John Lewis store in Cheltenham will result in the High Street challenging the Promenade as the town’s prime retail location, according to a retail property expert.
The 115,000 sq ft department store is scheduled to open on the High Street in 2018, and Nick Turk, retail director at commercial property specialist Colliers International, is predicting it will have a positive effect on the immediate area - and could lead to the High Street usurping the Promenade as the location for highest rents in Cheltenham.
Speaking at a recent business breakfast event with a retail focus, Mr Turk said: “Most recently, the Promenade created the higher rents – but with John Lewis on the High Street, the Promenade’s days as ‘top dog’ may be numbered.”
Mr Turk continued: “It will be interesting to see how The Promenade and the High Street – traditionally the two prime retail areas of Cheltenham – compete going forward.”
He added that the decision of John Lewis to open a department store in Cheltenham was “testament to both the strength of the town, as well as the positive spending power of the great and good of the Cotswolds”, and that there had been a positive knock-on effect for retail in and around the new store.
Work is presently underway to transform Beechwood Shopping Centre into a John Lewis store. It had been hoped that the store would open before Christmas 2017, but delays in the project have meant it is now scheduled to open next year.