Expanding Merry Hill releases more transformation plans
Happy days have arrived at Merry Hill. The close-to-Birmingham shopping centre has seen a host of new brands – including an expanded Primark store – agreeing to take space. At the same time, Merry Hill owner Ellandi, which took over from the failed Intu operator in 2020, also released further details of a major five-year transformation plan.
The Primark expansion comes via the introduction of Primark Home, which expands the brand’s space at the centre by 10,000 sq ft to almost 84,000 sq ft, allowing ”an enhanced customer experience that offers the latest interior design trends at affordable prices”.
It also reflects the next step in Merry Hill “realising a vision to attract more flagship concepts and unique store experiences to the West Midlands shopping destination”.
Paul Baldwin, Trading director at Primark, said: “We opened Primark at Merry Hill in 2007. There has been exceptional growth within our home and lifestyle department over the past 18 months as people have spent more time in their home. We are continuously looking for new ways to innovate and look forward to seeing our ambitious plans come to life at our Merry Hill store”.
The expansion comes amid a “flurry" of new leasing activity at the centre that has seen 49 new or renewed deals agreed, or close to exchange, at the mall this year.
Further details of the major investment programme for Merry Hill and the nearby Waterfront leisure destination have also been revealed. The plans will see some of the current retail offer converted into new leisure uses, “including early concepts for a number of unique new districts” dedicated to entertainment, fashion, health and wellbeing, and more.
The investment plan also aims to build on the best-in-class retail offer provided by occupiers, such as Next, JD Sports, and Primark, it noted.
Anchored by a 10-screen Odeon cinema, the enhanced leisure offer looks to bring new dine-in eateries, bars and family entertainment experiences to the centre. Extensive plans are also being drawn up to better connect the centre to the nearby Waterfront, which is home to a variety of independent stores, eateries, the Resonance music academy and community organisation, Black Country Radio and residential units.
A new dedicated health and wellbeing area will be created, bringing tailored services, products and experiences to the centre, it said.
Mark Robinson, co-founder of Ellandi, said: “The opening of Primark Home marks a major milestone in our five-year journey to redefine Merry Hill as the leading family shopping a lifestyle destination for the West Midlands.
“The response to the proposed investment programme announcement has been extraordinary and we have been delighted by the subsequent enquiries from potential occupiers.
He added: “We will tap into emerging consumer trends to future-proof the centre for years to come”.
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