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Date added: 17 December 2009

New retailers enticed to the Brunel 

Several new shops open at the Brunel Shopping Centre
Brunel logo
Managers at The Brunel shopping centre in Swindon have been delighted at the arrival of several new retailers in recent weeks following a vigorous marketing and promotional campaign to entice stores to the town.

Leading footcare specialist Shuropody, and fashion outlets So Elegant and Violet’s Bouquet, now occupy previously vacant units at the prestige shopping complex in the heart of the town centre.

Virgin Media also have an outlet at The Brunel while one of the centre’s largest units, the former Zavvi store, will be temporarily occupied by the recently opened Christmas Factory.

The Brunel management and its owners Brunel Unit Trust are also progressing the securing of permanent new tenants sometime in the New Year.

Talks are currently ongoing with potential tenants interested in the Canal Walk store which became vacant earlier this year after the national entertainments retailer – formerly the Virgin Megastore – went into administration.

Swindon Artists Forum – selling the work of talented local artists – and a YMCA charity shop have also recently occupied units at the two-tier covered mall.

Brunel centre manager Tony Wilkes said the arrival of the new tenants was a huge boost to both for shoppers and the town centre. He said: “This is tremendous news for all concerned – not least the shoppers of Swindon.

“During a time of recession we at The Brunel have been pro-active in attracting strong names to the town centre to fill empty units and to increase the footfall here.

“This has been achieved during a harsh economic climate. We are not saying that we are turning the corner as far as the recession is concerned. But we are saying that we have worked very hard to entice new names to Swindon in the face of this recession, and we will continue to strive to do so.

“Our aim is to have the very best shops and shopping environment for the people of Swindon and visitors to the town.”

Mr Wilkes, who became the centre manager of the plush complex of more 100 shops, restaurants and cafes in August, was extremely pleased at the quality of the new arrivals that will now become a permanent fixture at the Brunel.

He said: “In Shuropody we have the UK's leading footcare retailer, which specialises in everything to do with the wellbeing of the foot – from the best comfort footwear brands to leading footcare products.
“So Elegant and Violet’s Bouquet which both opened in The Brunel last weekend will add to an impressive number of fashion outlets which will give shoppers an even greater choice. ”And Virgin Media, of course, is a national leader in its field.”

Clothing company Krisp and Cornish pasty specialist Proper Cornish are both opening towards the end of this month (November).

Mr Wilkes said that as well as the ongoing efforts of The Brunel management and its owners to bring new retailers to Swindon, help was required from the Government, both nationally and locally.

He said: “For instance, I strongly believe that a reduction in rates which retail tenants across the country have to pay is absolutely imperative.”

He welcomed the recent introduction by Swindon Borough Council of a special parking fee during the Christmas lead-up and the New Year sales at three civic-owned town centre car parks.

Until early January drivers will be charged £2 to park for four hours from 10am at the Brunel North and West car parks and the Fleming Way facility.

Tony Wilkes said: “Partnerships are key to the success of all town centres’ survival during the current economic climate, which is why we are working with all retailers, inSwindon and the borough council to make Swindon town centre as attractive to visitors and shoppers as possible. A keen parking fee structure remains a cornerstone of that.”
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