Following a constituent contacting me stating, "I was a bit concerned to read that WH Smith is pulling out of the Overgate. I note that Gap has already gone. I'm not sure what shops will be moving in," I have been in correspondence with the Centre Manager about planned developments at the Overgate Centre.
He has given me positive feedback as follows :
"We are aware from a customer’s perspective Overgate has lost a few retailers over the last 6 months or so but I can assure your constituents we are working hard behind the scenes to ensure Overgate remains a prime regional shopping destination.
Our current client purchased the Overgate in April 2014 when the centre was approaching 15 years old and a lot of retailers were coming to the natural end of their leases. Since April we have secured the following retailers on long term leases to ensure business continuity within Overgate:
• Sports Direct
• River Island
• Virgin Media
• Ernest Jones
As you can imagine in the current financial climate the retail business is somewhat ‘fickle’ with High Street / Shopping Centre Retailers struggling against online shopping but ... the following will be happening within Overgate within the forthcoming months:
• Ex GAP Unit – Under Offer from Fashion Retailer
• Starbucks extension
• Kiosk opposite Superdrug – new retailer opening soon
• Lower Mall we have two empty units – those units are under offer for reconfiguring and currently sit with the Landlord for approval
• Ex La Senza Units – offer accepted and shopfitting plans have been approved
• Ex First Sport Unit – under offer from national leisure operator, we are currently undergoing our due diligence and feasibility studies
• WH Smith – they are due to close 10th June. We then need to carry out any repairs / redecoration but we currently have two offers on this unit being returned to its original shell i.e. two units, upstairs / downstairs.
Since the landlord took possession of the centre we have brought in:
• Yankee Scotland
Hopefully the above will restore some confidence within your West End Ward and should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me direct."
The Overgate Centre is a vital part of Dundee's shopping offer, not just for Dundee residents, but for the wider region, so it is reassuring that positive developments at the Overgate Centre are taking place.