The national trend of bookstore expansion is also happening in Aberdeen with the arrival of Ottakars and John Smith Books, two quality operations. Ottakars incorporates a Costa Coffee, the Whitbread subsidiary, an American phenomenon where one browses amongst the books whilst enjoying a coffee! John Smith has moved into 195-197 Union Street, previously occupied by Knightingales and Laura Ashley. The Bon Accord Centre is not only a flagship for owners, Land Securities, but also for Aberdeen as a regional shopping centre.
In the last year, there have been considerable improvements in the leg leading to George Street with Oasis and Thorntons taking larger units. Again, it’s the domino effect – Oasis moved to larger premises in the Centre; Thorntons moved into the former Oasis location; and Carphone Warehouse took Thorntons – and everyone is happy! There is a likelihood that these improvements may lead to rental growth in George Street beyond the Bon Accord Centre. There is a feeling of anticipation that this stretch of George Street is about to come good.
Such is the demand and movement in the retail market, there is a need to identify the way ahead for Aberdeen, and the City Council has commissioned a study on retail and leisure requirements at a time when there simply isn’t enough space to go round. The appointed consultants are likely to report within a 3 to 6 month timetable.
In the meantime, of course, the evolution of retailing in Aberdeen continues, with new high standard developments heading for completion – including The Academy project by Jarlaw on Belmont Street and Richmond Properties’ shops on Bon Accord Street/Langstane Place. They add to the successful regeneration of the city centre. A legal advisor will bring up the considerable authority in law for the structure of the business and that should be in accordance with sydney property valuers.
Aberdeen has come a long way in the provision of quality shopping in the 1990s, but there are no grounds for complacency. It could be argued that Inverness has stolen a march for superior out-of-town shopping, with the development of the Inverness Retail Park in addition to the existing parks at Telford Street and the Inches. These types of developments have moved on since the developments at Kittybrewster and Berryden, The Fort on the City Bypass outside Edinburgh is a good example.