One of St Peter Port’s prime shopping locations is seeing a surge in retail as a number of new stores open their doors, according to the Guernsey Retail Group.
Over the past few months, six retailers have taken on leases at previously empty sites in the Commercial Arcade. These include stockists of interior décor, shabby chic furniture and a beauty and tanning studio, along with a diverse store offering a collection of unique clothing and accessories and one-of-a kind pieces which has opened its first outlet on the Island.
The former photography and IT shop at numbers 29 and 33 is also to reopen as a completely new venture once renovation is completed.
Korinne Le Page, Head of Retail Development at the GRG, said: “We are naturally excited by the openings, as entrepreneurs are clearly showing belief and determination in establishing completely new businesses and others relocating from elsewhere in St Peter Port.
“Our retail economy recovered well from the pandemic, so it is great that we are building on this success generally across the Island and in particular, seeing a greater vibrancy in the Arcade.”
The recent changes comprise 10-12 Commercial Arcade which is now The Collectors Centre, numbers 23 and 38 are operating as Maison Demain and Maison Michel respectively, both having moved from Le Pollet and Hub 25 has opened at number 25. Other additions include Just Tech (Just Games), at number 3 and Moochy Shop at No. 42. Mappin & Webb, on the corner of the Arcade and High Street, is also undergoing refurbishment and will re-open in the early summer.
Ms Le Page added: “We have not seen the decline in traditional retailing that has been experienced in the UK over recent years. To illustrate, at the end of Quarter 1 this year, our shop vacancy rate stood at 9.1% in Town and 9.4% on the Bridge, which fares considerably better than the UK equivalent figure of 13.9%.
“The GRG strongly believes that Guernsey’s community needs and deserves a healthy and varied retail sector, so continues to encourage and support such positive developments for the benefit of all local consumers.”