1. Project
6 February 2022

Cotswolds Designer Outlet, Gloucestershire, UK

Cotswolds Designer Outlet is a 90-unit shopping centre being developed in south-central England.
Being developed by Robert Hitchins, the Cotswolds Designer Outlet will include 90 retail units. Credit: Robert Hitchins Limited.
The Cotswolds Designer Outlet is being developed in two phases. Credit: Robert Hitchins Limited.
The Dobbies Garden Centre is the anchor tenant of the retail and leisure development. Credit: Robert Hitchins Limited.
Fashion brands will make up about 50% of the stores at the shopping centre. Credit: Robert Hitchins Limited.
The first phase of the Cotswolds Designer Outlet is expected to open in 2023. Credit: Robert Hitchins Limited.

Cotswolds Designer Outlet is a premium retail and leisure destination being built in Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England, by real estate developer Robert Hitchins.

The mixed-use facility will provide a new shopping experience for visitors through contemporary and adaptable retail units in a vibrant setting.

Construction of the project began in December 2021. The facility will be built in two phases, with the first phase scheduled to open in 2023.

Cotswolds Designer Outlet is expected to generate £88.6m ($117m) in sales revenue a year.

Location

The Cotswolds Designer Outlet is located on the edge of the Cotswolds, next to Junction 9 of the M5 motorway and the A46 trunk road. The location is 20 minutes away from spa town Cheltenham and 60 minutes away from Birmingham by car.

The retail and leisure destination has a resident catchment of about ten million people within 90 minutes and 5.8 million within 60 minutes of drive time.

Details and features

Cotswolds Designer Outlet is part of a 180-acre mixed-use development that also includes a garden centre, 850 planned new homes, as well as a school and a local centre.

The retail development with a gross lettable area of about 195,000ft² (18,116m²) will include 90 retail units, restaurants, and cafes. The 140,000ft² (13,006m²) first phase will feature 75 stores, while the second phase will include the remaining 15 stores across 41,000ft² (3,809m²).

The site will also include the Dobbies Garden Centre,  a UK-based chain of gardening stores. Dobbies will occupy 74,000ft² (6,874.8m²) space and serve as the anchor for the development.

The Dobbies store will feature an extensive plants and gardening department with accessories and products, a pet’s department, gifts, toys, a cookshop, home décor, a soft play area for kids, a food hall, and a 10,000ft² (929m²) table service restaurant. It will have its own parking space for 500 vehicles.

Claimed to be the largest store in South West England, the store is expected to serve more than 750,000 customers a year.

Fashion brands will make up approximately 50% of the retail outlet space, followed by sports and outdoor brands with 20%, shoes and accessories with 12%, and home and lifestyle brands with 10%. The remaining space will be occupied by kidswear and food and beverage outlets. Cafes and restaurants will occupy 16,000ft² (1,486.44m²) of the outlet’s space.

Amenities in the Cotswolds Designer Outlet

The designer outlet will provide several amenities for its visitors, including free Wi-Fi, mobile charging points, ATMs, a hands-free shopping experience, children’s playground, a lounge, and a VIP club. The retail and leisure destination will offer parking space for 2,100 vehicles.

Contractors involved

Realm, an operator of outlet centres and retail malls, was engaged in July 2021 to pre-let the outlets as well as to operate the shopping centre upon its opening.

Roberts Limbrick Architects, a local company, offered architectural design services for the retail component of the project, while Montel Civil Engineering was selected as the main contractor for the outlet’s infrastructure works.

Coverdale Barclay, a public relations and marketing firm, was appointed by Robert Hitchins to deliver an integrated communications strategy for the project.

Gilbert Evans, a retail and garden centre property consultancy based in the UK, acted as an agent for  Hitchins for the agreement with Dobbies.

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