In November 2011, to the disappointment of both staff and shopper, Sir Phillip Green announced he would not be renewing the lease on Arcadia’s Newcastle stores. If this is to take effect it would mean a sharp addition to the 29,400 young unemployed people in North East England, and lack of young shoppers being drawn to Newcastle’s central shopping destination. The area has also been hit by the loss of lingerie store La Senza and discount fashion chain Peacocks. The latter had only been a recent arrival in Newcastle, opening its doors in Northumberland Street only a year and a half before the company went into administration. But things may be looking up. New retailers are growing interest in Newcastle, initially beginning with names like Hollister and Superdry purchasing space in the city. This was recently followed by the opening of Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green store in September, and a four-storey Urban Outfitters that arrived in the midst of the Christmas season. With the constant opening and closing of retail doors, only time will tell if the North will be able to hold on financially to its major shopping destinations.
[Written piece for London Met application]