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100 JOBS CREATED AS DEPARTMENT STORE MORLEYS MOVES INTO FORMER BHS SITE AT NEWRIVER’S BROADWAY SHOPPING CENTRE, BEXLEYHEATH

UP TO 100 new jobs have been created as department store Morleys is to move into the former BHS site at Broadway Shopping Centre in Bexleyheath owned by NewRiver.

The new fashion, beauty and homeware department store is set to open over two floors in April 2017 after a major re-fit of the unit.

It brings a welcomed jobs boost to the area with Morleys employing up to 100 staff in Bexleyheath, and already 90% of the roles available have been filled.

Significantly, Morleys have appointed Sophie Cassat, the former manager of BHS in Bexleyheath, to manage their new department store at Broadway Shopping Centre. Sophie brings with her a long-standing career at BHS having worked at various stores for 39 years and is well known to customers in the area.

Morleys will offer fashion, accessories, beauty, menswear and stationery on the ground floor of the 50,000 square foot unit. The first floor will house a comprehensive home department, including ranges of china and glass, electricals, gifts, beds, linens and curtains, together with toys, luggage and haberdashery.

Hundreds of big name brands offered across the store will include Top Shop and Top Man, Radley, Barbour, Moss Bros, Oasis, Phase Eight, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Cath Kidston, Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Christy, Ted Baker, Tempur, Dunlopillo, Clinique, Clarins and Benefit.

The retail offer will be complimented by a restaurant as the independent London-based retailer revitalises the space which was left vacant when BHS collapsed in summer 2016.

The news follows months of hard work by Broadway Shopping Centre’s owners NewRiver REIT, and the London Borough of Bexley to secure a new retailer for the former BHS unit.

NewRiver bought the shopping centre and retail park in April 2016. As news of the BHS closure became a reality, NewRiver swiftly began discussions with the Council and identified the opportunity to apply its pro-active asset management skills to secure an attractive new retailer complimentary to the existing retail mix and local shopper.

The addition of Morleys further enhances the line up at the centre which includes big name anchors M&S, H&M, New Look, TK Maxx, Boots and Sainsbury's. Broadway Shopping Centre sees a total footfall of 9.5 million shoppers per year.

New store manager Sophie said: “I was absolutely delighted to secure the position with Morleys. I’m really excited to get back into retail, and I’ve been overwhelmed by how welcome everyone at Morleys have made me feel.

“We already have a fantastic retail offer here in the town and it is wonderful news that this independent chain has chosen Bexleyheath to further its expansion across Greater London.

“It’s a store that I’m sure will appeal to local people who value good quality household brands and excellent customer service.

“I’m really looking forward to opening day, and seeing customers back on the shop floor. It’s great that the restaurant is being revitalised too, so families can stop and eat while they are out shopping.”

Founded in 1927, Morleys is one of the UK's leading independent department stores with eight existing stores in the UK, including their first store in Brixton together with Wimbledon, Ilford, Holloway, Tooting, Upminster, Newbury and Enfield.

Bexleyheath will be Morleys Group’s ninth department store and follows on from their recent redevelopment of 'Camp Hopson' Department & Home store in Newbury, West Berkshire.

Bernard Dreesmann, Executive Chairman of Morleys said: "We are excited about the opportunity in Bexleyheath and are confident that we can bring something new and fresh to the area".

Stuart Mitchell, Asset Director at NewRiver said: “We are thrilled to introduce Morleys to Broadway Shopping Centre to further enhance the existing retail mix and reactivate the former BHS store.

“In partnership with London Borough of Bexley, we worked hard to secure an attractive new retailer. Morleys are an excellent operator andl bring a varied and high quality, retail offer to the heart of Bexleyheath”.

Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE said; “We are delighted to be welcoming Morley’s to our fantastic Broadway Shopping Centre. The presence of such a renowned department store in the heart of our borough is real coup.

“Morley’s will enhance the great retail offer that the centre already has as well as providing vital jobs for local people – including some previous BHS employees. I look forward to them opening their doors for business.”

Broadway Shopping Centre General Manager Peter Sedge said: “We are delighted to welcome Morleys to Bexleyheath and even more delighted that Sophie will be back with us.

“It will provide even more reasons for people to visit Bexleyheath town centre.”

Mr Sedge said: “We were all desperately sad to see the Bexleyheath BHS store forced to close in the summer, but this was due to the collapse of the national chain and was sadly out of our control.”

He added: “The securing of Morleys as a new anchor tenant for Broadway Shopping Centre is testament to the ongoing investment in the area by both NewRiver, and the London Borough of Bexley who have both worked hard to make this happen.

“We’re excited to see the re-fit progress over the next few months and we are looking forward to seeing the new department store open and buzzing with shoppers.”

ENDS

For more information about at Morleys in Bexleyheath please visit their new website www.morleysbexleyheath.co.uk

For more information about stores at Broadway Shopping Centre go to www.broadwayshoppingcentre.com or visit the Centre’s Facebook or Twitter @BroadwayBexley

About NewRiver REIT plc

NewRiver REIT plc (ticker: NRR) is a specialist real estate investor, asset manager and developer focused solely on the UK retail and leisure sector. The Company is a premium listed REIT on the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the FTSE 250 and EPRA indices.

 

Founded in 2009, NewRiver is one of the UK's largest owner/managers of convenience-led shopping centres with assets under management of £1.3 billion principally comprising 33 UK wide shopping centres together with further nationwide retail and leisure assets. The portfolio totals over 8 million sq. ft. with over 2,000 occupiers, an annual footfall of 150 million and a retail occupancy rate of 97 per cent.

 

Visit nrr.co.uk for further information.