Retail brands TK Maxx, B&M Bargains and JD Sports sign up for Ards Shopping Centre

The new JD Sports store opening soon in Ards Shopping Centre
Gail Bell

THREE new anchor tenants are poised to set up shop in Ards shopping centre, effecting a £7 million investment in the complex which celebrates its 40th birthday next month.

The new signings come on the back of major "reconfiguration works" and the creation of a 45,000 square foot unit to accommodate newcomers TK Maxx and B&M Bargains.

Talks are also in an advanced stage with another national anchor retailer - and leading café brand - to take the remaining two units at the centre.

It is another timely boost after retailer JD Sports announced its debut in Newtownards with the opening of a 4,400 sq ft store.

In addition, Jeweller’s Warren James have taken a 1,190 sq ft shop with Argento doubling its presence to a 930 sq ft retail space.

Owners Belfast Office Properties announced the plans for the "major reconfiguration works" ahead of celebrations marking the development's fourth decade in business and as figures reveal the complex now welcomes in excess of 100,000 visitors per week.

Discount designer brand TK Maxx is taking up the lion's share of available new space, filling 23,000 sq ft, while the second signing is for a 10,000 sq ft unit for leading UK variety retailer B&M Bargains, led by chief executive Simon Arora and chairman Sir Terry Leahy.

Both stores are scheduled to open in September and are proof of increased demand from major UK brands, according to Paul Devlin of Belfast Office Properties.

"The redevelopment and our significant investment is a direct response to the demand for Ards Shopping Centre from major UK brands," Mr Devlin said.

"Ards continues to position itself as a leading retail destination in Northern Ireland and we are excited to welcome TK Maxx, B&M Bargains and JD Sports whose combined appeal will enhance and grow our loyal customers’ shopping experience and further strengthen our retail line-up."

Group Acquisitions Manager at JD Sports, Warren Thompson, said Ards Shopping Centre had appealed due to its positioning as both a popular local and regional shopping destination.

"This new unit will provide us with the space we need to showcase our wide range of leading brands and we look forward to being part of an exciting new expansion plan that will no doubt drive footfall to our store," he added.

Tony Kernan and Gary Martin of Lambert Smith Hampton, who manage the centre, acted on behalf of Ards Shopping Centre in the deals.

Further new lettings at the centre are currently being finalised, with more retail news to be announced later in the year.


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