Hobbycraft plans 80 new stores

Retailer hopes to more than double store portfolio in next five years.
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Property Week has reported the plans to add 80 stores to the current 51-outlet portfolio.

The expansion plans will begin with 15 new units in 2011. The retailer is thought to have placed five shops under offer and has outlined a total of 70 locations across the UK where it would like to expand, including Birmingham, Manchester, Kingston, Dundee, Lancaster and Plymouth.

The long-term plan is for 180 stores in total and Hobbycraft is seeking units of around 7,500 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft with mezzanine floors that cover 50 - 75 per cent of the total floorspace.

The firm is keen to open next to occupiers such as Mothercare, Argos and Toys R Us, which would suit its largely female and family-orientated customer base.

The expansion plan has been spearheaded by the brand’s new owner, Bridgepoint Capital, which bought the retailer in April 2010.

Robin Langford, head of property at Hobbycraft, told Property Week: “Hobbycraft is unique in its market and no one else in the out-of-town market offers anything vaguely similar.

"The brand can add a new dimension to the offer on retail parks and bring people that might not otherwise come.”

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