Four new stores open at Chantry Place, Norwich


Four major brands are expected to announce the opening of new stores in Norwich next year.

Agreements are currently underway with Chantry Place and shutters are expected to arrive in early 2022.

Chantry Place general manager Paul McCarthy said national businesses will have a positive impact on other merchants in the center.

Mr McCarthy said: “We are now in a position where I only have five units that do not trade 91 and that is a very good position to be in.

“Of those five, four are really, really close to getting listed and exchanged for some fantastic new brands.

“When we are able to close and announce these deals, not only will these four tenants do incredibly well because they are big brands, but the rest of the center will benefit as well.”

Paul McCarthy outside the main entrance to Chantry Place.
– Credit: DENISE BRADLEY / Archant2021

The mall boss cited the example of Hamleys, the world’s oldest toy store, as having a productive impact on footfall nearby as more families visit as a result.

Chantry Place has also hosted Subway, H&M Kids and H&M Home, as well as The Real Greek restaurant during the pandemic time.


Hamleys recently opened at Chantry Place

Reflecting on the Covid rebound, the head of retail added: “It’s interesting when you look at what we’ve been through.

“Sometimes it’s been very difficult because no one had run or ran a business during a pandemic before, so this is all completely new.

“For a while there was a real crisis affecting everyone, but you always find yourself going back to some fundamentals during a crisis.

“The first is always to take care of your employees and make sure they are safe. We have almost 2,000 people working here.

“We’re one of the largest single site employers in all of Norfolk, so making sure these guys are safe to go about their business is a priority.”

Paul McCarthy.  Managing Director of Chantry Place.  Photo: DENISE BRADLEY

Paul McCarthy, General Manager of Chantry Place
– Credit: DENISE BRADLEY / Archant2021

Among the safety measures that should remain at the center are an increased cleaning regime and hand sanitizing stations.

Mr McCarthy said staff will also continue to monitor occupancy to limit overcrowding if necessary.

And the boss believes the mall and retail are in a good position to stand up to the online shopping world and ever-changing consumer habits.

“While footfall has not quite returned to pre-pandemic levels, sales are,” said McCarthy.

“What our tenants tell us in terms of sales numbers is that most of them are doing at least at 2019 levels – even though footfall has not recovered.

“What this tells me is that our offering and the way we attract customers to the center is working.”

The mall’s senior officers are constantly monitoring customer feedback through social media and looking for ways to adapt to people’s needs.

Paul McCarthy.  Managing Director of Chantry Place.  Photo: DENISE BRADLEY

Paul McCarthy, CEO of Chantry Place feels optimistic for the future after bouncing back from Covid
– Credit: DENISE BRADLEY / Archant2021

Mr McCarthy said: “We’re in a really strong position. I think there will be less retail in cities and towns across the country in general, but the best destinations will be the ones that thrive. I really place us. in this category.

“We came out of the pandemic with everyone as before and we got new high quality rentals.

“There will always be reasons for people to come visit us and see what our tenants have to offer. I see that will be the case for the next five to ten years.

“I’m naturally optimistic anyway, but looking at how we’ve responded to the pandemic, I think we’re in a really strong position.”

Only Disney left Chantry Place during the pandemic period which was the result of a national corporate decision.

Mr McCarthy said: “There were some great people working there and we already know that all of these people have jobs elsewhere.”

He also reflected on a productive post-containment summer with families engaged in the GoGoDiscover T-Rex sculpture trail.

Mr McCarthy also said restaurants in Chantry Square were able to expand their seats with the tables often full.

Christmas excitement

Those visiting Chantry Place this Christmas will be greeted by a tunnel of twinkling stars that temporarily returns to the Rainbow Square currently on the site.

But many shoppers are already in the Christmas spirit with Mr McCarthy saying people have started shopping for gifts earlier than usual.

The Tunnel of Stars returns to Chantry Place shopping center in Norwich for Christmas 2021.

The tunnel of stars returns to Chantry Place for Christmas
– Credit: Provided

The General Manager of Chantry Place added: “We are really excited about Christmas and hope it will be much more like a traditional Christmas where friends and family come together.”

Christmas decorations will be installed at the mall on Sunday evening to welcome visitors the next morning.

The mall thrives at this time of year which is usually the busiest time on its calendar.

And Mr McCarthy thinks the mall has an edge over online retail when it comes to handling the giveaways and getting a feel for what they’ll be.

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