Next will create a new revamped flagship store at the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, extending to 44,226 sq ft.
The high street retailer will extend its existing store, of around 40,000 sq ft on Bluewater’s Thames Walk, by taking two additional units currently occupied by Hotel Chocolat and Thomas Cook – both of which will relocate to other stores in the shopping centre.
As part of the store reconfiguration, young fashion brand Lipsy – which is owned by Next – will relocate from its existing store at Bluewater to occupy a store-within-a-store of approximately 2,000 sq ft, with its own entrance onto upper Thames Walk.
The new design concept will feature a full-height structural window on the southern side of the store which will flood the two-storey space with natural light and provide views of the chalk cliffs outside. The store will also have two large skylights to bring in even more sunlight.
The refit will begin this month and will be undertaken in phases, with the transformation due to be completed by the summer. Images of the new store design have not yet been released.
A Next spokesperson said: “The sense of light and space in the store, combined with the new layout and merchandising, will significantly enhance the experience for our customers.”
Russell Loveland, portfolio director at Land Securities which is one of the owners of Bluewater, added: “The creation of a new store for Next is consistent with our strategy of ensuring Bluewater offers not only the very best mix of leading UK and international brands, but unique concepts. We have worked closely with Next on the design for this store, particularly on delivering the vision for natural light to play such a key role in the experience. Next’s new Bluewater store will be the perfect showcase for the brand.”
Property agents CBRE acted for Bluewater on the deal. Next dealt directly with the landlords.