he Ardent Companies (Ardent), the US-based real estate investment and asset management firm, has secured five new lettings at Touchwood Shopping Centre in Solihull, watch boutique, TAG Heuer, Xcelerate Gym, eateries including Dirty Wild Wings and Alioli, and skin care and cosmetics clinic chain, Laser Clinics, amounting to a total of over 15,400 sq ft. The new lettings quickly follow Ardent’s acquisition of Touchwood Shopping centre in July this year, including the appointment of a new asset management team to drive proactive improvements to the shopping environment in collaboration with new and existing retailers.
TAG Heuer, the Swiss luxury watchmaker, will take a store on the ground floor within Touchwood’s Crescent Arcade, adjacent to fellow premium jewellery brands, Goldsmiths and Ernest Jones. It will be the only standalone TAG Heuer store within Solihull, serving the town’s affluent catchment and is operated by the Watches of Switzerland Group – who also own Goldsmiths.
Gym operator, Xcelerate, will open only its second site in the UK at Touchwood, taking a 7,819 sq ft unit located off Solihull high street. Laser Clinics, Alioli, the independent tapas bar concept, and Dirty Wild Wings, the fried chicken eatery, will all open stores within the Mill Lane section of the shopping centre, taking 1,931 sq ft, 3,790 sq ft, and 272 sq ft respectively.
Andrew Hilston, Managing Director, Ardent, commented: “TAG Heuer, Xcelerate, Laser Clinics, Alioli, and Dirty Wild Wings all bring a fresh offering to Touchwood’s tenant line-up at an exciting time for the centre. Solihull is a key visitor location within the region with a strong lifestyle offer, as well as a central destination within the UK that is set to be a major beneficiary of HS2. Touchwood is positioned to play a key role within Solihull Council’s bold ambition for growth in the coming years, particularly in the run up to the 2022 Commonwealth games, which will be a major driver of footfall and retail spend in the town centre.
Craig Bolton, Executive Director, Watches of Switzerland Group, which owns TAG Heuer, commented: “We are delighted to announce another beautiful contemporary TAG Heuer boutique to our portfolio with Touchwood and excited to see our partnership with TAG Heuer grow from strength to strength.”
The raft of new lettings mark Ardent’s intent to strengthen Touchwood’s position as a prime retail pitch in the West Midlands through a new asset management strategy focussed on enhancing the centre’s tenant mix across retail, leisure, F&B and services.
Joint agents representing Ardent and Touchwood are Cushman & Wakefield and Knight Frank.