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AS Retail – New Instructions and Cards Direct Expansion

AS Retail are one of the most active agents advising Landlords in Surrey with a number of instructions on their books.

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The brand new Brightwells Yard development in affluent Farnham will finally open this year. With over 400 car parking spaces serving the development, set around a new town square and gardens, the open air, streetscaped, cinema anchored, 35 unit mixed use scheme will be home to a range of national, regional and independent retail, catering, health and fitness and service sector brands. Reel are currently fitting out the boutique six-screen cinema with Coppa Club committed to taking the flagship catering unit in the heart of the development. Andrew Shepherd at AS Retail confirmed ‘Numerous deals will be announced over the next few weeks but spaces from 700-8,000 sq ft remain available to join the line-up in this exciting scheme. Please get in touch with myself or my colleague Kathryn Evans to discuss availability.’

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Moving to Guildford, the stunning Tunsgate Quarter is now almost fully let following the addition of Townhouse Nails, Arlo & Jacob and Sixes Social Cricket in 2023. AS Retail are joint agents on the scheme with BGP with Andrew commenting ‘Sixes have acquired c 8,000 sq ft on the upper level of the scheme and will add another dimension to this stunning development. We only have two small units remaining.’ AS Retail also recently concluded a lease renewal for their retained client BoConcept on their Guildford store and are also instructed by the landlord of 12 North Street to identify a new tenant for the property which was previously occupied by Virgin Money.

Over in Runnymede, AS Retail have secured another sport-based leisure occupier for their leisure led Addlestone One scheme. Kick X Arena have now opened in c 14,000 sq ft at the Station Road entrance to Addlestone One, absorbing three units to create a unique centre for hybrid football, the first of its kind in the UK. With football-based activities such as Padbol, Teqball, Jorkyball, Panna sitting alongside a VR area and a shooting arena, Kick X are a welcome second anchor to the development. Geek Retreat also opened at the development last year with two more exciting leisure operators progressing to legal completion shortly. There remains space for catering, leisure or complementary service sector brands to join the mix.

Just up the road AS Retail are leasing the remaining units at Runnymede Borough Council’s award winning Magna Square development in Egham. The development is already home to a four screen Everyman cinema, Loungers and Budgens with Starbucks opening in c 1,800 sq ft in 2023. Set around a part pedestrianised boulevard and with over 200 new dwellings Andrew Shepherd commented ‘There are only two units available, one of which would subdivide, but we have good interest in both, however no deals are agreed yet.’ AS Retail also recently leased the 7,700 sq ft former M&Co in the town for the same client to Poundstretcher where there were three under-bidders, indicating strong demand for well-proportioned units in the market.

AS Retail were appointed as leasing agents at The Square Shopping Centre in Camberley in October 2022 and have since brokered around 15 deals including leasing the former 23,000 sq ft BHS on Princes Way to B&M. They have also concluded a number of lease regears with national multiples to lengthen their occupation and filled standard units with exciting local and independent occupiers. Kathryn Evans at AS Retail who leads on the leasing commented ‘We’ve had a very successful period at The Square Shopping Centre and in addition there are numerous new lettings with national, regional and independent occupiers currently in legals. Nonetheless we have spaces available still to join the centre so please get in touch with me to discuss the opportunities’.

Cards Direct Expansion

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Cards Direct are a vertically integrated greetings card and gift chain based in Hertfordshire with the added bonus that all the greetings cards designed and manufactured in England. Their shops are bright and inviting with their extensive range of cards and gifts offering a high quality of produce but value for money.

AS Retail have worked with Cards Direct since their formation in 2012, leasing them their pilot store at The Spires Shopping Centre in Barnet and advising them on all store acquisitions and estate matters since.

In 2023 Cards Direct increased the size of their estate markedly with the brand now trading 60 units nationwide. The geography of the estate has expanded West along the M4 with openings at Parkway in Newbury, prime Regent Street in Swindon and on Broadmead in Bristol with Hammerson. Further North stores have been acquired in Gloucester, Solihull, Wolverhampton and Derby and the brand has expanded on the South Coast with new stores in Fareham and Bognor Regis.

The expansion programme continues to accelerate in 2024 and 2025 with up to twenty new stores required this year and similar next as the brands pushes towards the 100 store milestone. The geography of the estate will be stretched again as they search for prime units of 1,500 – 2,000 sq ft sales plus backup in significant towns and cities.

Andrew Shepherd at AS Retail who leads on the Cards Direct account commented ‘Firstly a big thank you to the landlords and agents who have worked with us on growing the estate to where it is today. We are actively, but selectively, searching for new great new locations for Cards Direct and can now consider most regions. Please get in touch with me to discuss anything that might be suitable.’

Tel: 020 7287 2155

Mob: 07715 001 005

You can see all of the commercial property listed on NovaLoca by AS Retail here.

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