City centre mall Paradise Forum is bucking Birmingham’s rise in vacant retail units with the announcement of two new lettings in the popular thoroughfare.
City Nails and Entices pancake and ice cream bar have signed five and ten year leases for 350 sq ft and 1,270 sq ft premises respectively.
With almost 14 per cent of shops in Birmingham recently reported as standing empty, the latest lettings at Paradise Forum leave just two units available of a total 17,749 sq ft retail space within the venue.
The latest lettings come after the relocation of popular newsagent Newsflow into a 2,800 sq ft Spar store last month.
“Paradise Forum continues to attract an extremely high daily footfall and as such is proving a popular choice for convenience retailers such as Entices and City Nails that thrive on passing trade,” explained Ross Fittall of landlord Argent.
“With nearly 12,000 independent stores shutting this year it is great to see locally run businesses such as these identifying niches in the market and defying current market conditions.”
Entices pancake and ice cream bar will bring 26 Italian-style gelato ice cream flavours to the city alongside freshly made pancakes and Belgian waffles courtesy of Bromsgrove entrepreneurs Jon and Irene Hales.
The pair have been trained in the making of traditional gelato ice cream in Italy’s Rimini, and will be creating fresh gelato, pancakes and waffles on site seven days a week with both takeaway and eat in options available.
City Nails, run by Huong Le, has returned to Paradise Forum following the mall’s recent refurbishment.
The business offers nail treatments alongside a range of jewellery and accessories and is already fast building a client base of new and returning customers.
Mr Hales said both retailers are confident of market success.
He said: “Having researched the local market extensively we decided upon Paradise Forum for Entices as it already has a proven track record in convenience products.
“The location between Brindleyplace and the city centre is ideal for attracting both a high volume and regular customer base and one which we feel will be drawn to our product.
“Belgian waffles have already proven extremely successful on London’s Oxford Street where there are around 12 popular outlets and equally we believe there is a gap in the market locally for freshly made gelato which has a very distinctive flavour.
“We’re confident Entices will prove a success and already have plans in the pipeline for expanding our product range within the next few months,” she added.
Taking advantage of Argent’s hands on approach, Entices engaged the landlord’s development expertise for the fit out of their retail unit which features Italian counters and equipment alongside a pink and green colour scheme reminiscent of Neapolitan ice cream.
Paradise Forum fronts on to Chamberlain Square near Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Town Hall.