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 and is being carried out in two phases. The first phase, including a Dobbies Garden Centre, was opened in 2023.
Cotswolds Designer Outlet is expected to generate £88.6m ($117m) in annual sales revenue.
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 from spa town Cheltenham and 60 minutes 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 includes a garden centre, 850 planned new homes, 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 includes the UK-based chain of gardening stores, Dobbies Garden Centre. Dobbies Garden Centre is built over 74,000ft² (6,874.8m²) and serves as the anchor for the development.
The store features an extensive plants and gardening department with accessories and products, a pet’s department, gifts, toys, a cookshop, home decor, a soft play area for kids, a food hall and a 10,000ft² (929m²) table service restaurant. It has its own parking space for 500 vehicles.
It is Dobbies’ largest store in Southwest England and is expected to serve more than 750,000 customers annually.
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 children’s wear 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, a children’s playground, a lounge, and a VIP club. The retail and leisure destination will offer parking space for 2,100 vehicles.
Realm, an operator of outlet centres and retail malls, was engaged in July 2021 to pre-let the outlets and operate the shopping centre upon its opening.
Local architectural company Roberts Limbrick Architects offered its 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.
UK-based retail and garden centre property consultancy Gilbert Evans acted as an agent for Hitchins for the agreement with Dobbies.