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Hunt on for top department store for Bromley

Tue 20 September 2011, 2:00 pm

The search is on for a key department store to anchor the future of Bromley as a key retail shopping destination.

Speaking at the Invest Bromley conference today, Neil Parlett, senior director at property adviser CB Richard Ellis, said Bromley’s affluent suburban population should make it an attractive proposition for the top department names such as House of Fraser, John Lewis and Fenwicks.

“The affluent urbanite is more representative in the Bromley catchment than Britain in general. Bromley has a very affluent customer base.  Although we know Debenhams are happy and would like to expand, as well as M&S, there is a gap –  the department store sector unrepresented and we want to pay particular focus on that.

“Bromley sits in top trading  group of town centres. Average household incomes are higher than London and UK, and Bromley is a green borough, with high levels of employment, good academic skills and a diverse occupational, prosperous knowledge- based population which scores highly in home ownership and car ownership with social indicators which compare well with Guildford, Chelmsford.

“In terms of transport, its air, road and rail network put it in the top 20%, which means that in economic context, Bromley can be compared favourably alongside Cambridge, Brighton, etc, as one of the strongest towns to lead us forward with a strong platform of dynamic and successful new development projects to grow us out of a period of depression.”

Mr Parlett told a packed audience of investors and key stakeholders that the plans for what he calls Churchill Place would make it south London’s biggest new retail opportunity and would take into account predicted changes in social and shopping habits, including better food and beverage offerings, entertainment offerings, lifestyle shopping and brand association. There would be particular emphasis on the night time economy, which he felt Bromley hadn’t yet developed to its full potential.

“We want to make this an exciting and interesting place to be -not just during day but during evening too and provide uses which are complimentary to what the Cathedral Group are doing with their development plans.”

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