The Royal Arcade Norwich has announced that Artique Galleries and Lady B Loves, two long-standing tenants, have agreed to renew their leases.
Artique Galleries’ lease renewal coincides with plans to refurbish its store under an exciting new brand name. The owners of Artique, which has been in the Royal Arcade since 2011, plan to invest in its gallery, rebranding it to Air Fine Art later this year. The Air Fine Art brand showcases exciting and fresh artwork from partners Buckingham Fine Art. Two prestigious new units using the brand have already been opened in Cheltenham and Stratford upon Avon in the last five months.
Mark Wilson, Chair of Artique Galleries Ltd, said, “We are delighted to have renewed our lease in the Royal Arcade. It’s great to be in the heart of the city in such an iconic building that has strong footfall. We have been really pleased to see the Royal Arcade’s owners be true to their word in attracting excellent new tenants and investing in its infrastructure; and we are looking forward to the opening of the Food Hall and Emporium later this year as that is sure to increase footfall. We believe the Royal Arcade is the perfect home for Air Fine Art in Norwich.”
Lady B Loves, specialising in vintage-inspired ladies fashion, has been in the Royal Arcade since 2016. Owner Jenny Bealey, said, “We love the Royal Arcade. It’s the perfect place for our business. I still pinch myself every day that I have my dream shop in my dream location. What better place is there to sell our beautiful clothes than in the most beautiful shopping destination in Norwich?”
“We have built up a very loyal following amongst our customers and being at the heart of the city, the footfall is getting busier and buzzier. We’re meeting lots of new people discovering our unique ‘Feel fabulous, look gorgeous’ vintage Inspired style all the time! We have a very friendly, supportive community in the Royal Arcade and I am so excited to be renewing our lease and also looking forward to having new neighbours in the other units. Being close to the new Food Hall and Emporium, I am feeling super positive about our future in the Arcade and can’t wait to be part of its very bright future!”
This news has been welcomed by the Royal Arcade’s property management company LPC1 as a strong indication that the improvement work planned for the Arcade and the number of new tenants in the pipeline has provided a great degree of confidence about its future as one of the region’s premier retail destinations.
Simon Ashdown, Director of LPC1 Ltd, said, “I am really happy that we have been able to secure lease renewals for both Artique Galleries and Lady B Loves as they are exactly the sort of retailer the Royal Arcade deserves to house, alongside long-term tenants such as Stompers that has been in the Royal Arcade for 25 years. The fact that Artique are going to invest in their gallery and launch an exciting new brand is testimony to the investment the new owners are making. We are progressing really well on securing a number of other complementary independent retailers to move into the Royal Arcade to provide Norwich with an eclectic mix of shopping opportunities.”
Footfall figures for the Royal Arcade are very encouraging. In the last 12 months (to w/e 27 March), 1.9 million shoppers have passed through the Royal Arcade. These year-on-year figures show an increase of 200,000 on the year-on-year figures to end February.
This announcement follows close on the heels of the Royal Arcade welcoming its first new tenant under new ownership, Lauren Rose Interior Design, which opened on 5 March.
Owner, Lauren Collins-Hines, said, “The decision to have my store in this iconic building is already paying off. I have been attracting a lot of visitors and have signed up a number of clients for interior design projects. The news that many of the Royal Arcade’s longest serving tenants are staying here is music to my ears as the mix of independent retailers and boutiques is what makes this place special. With more new tenants lined up and the anticipated launch of the Food Hall and Emporium, it’s going to be a really exciting time for the Royal Arcade and its community of tenants.”
Carol Cooper, of Norwich-based Francis Darrah Chartered Surveyors, who is marketing the units, said, “We have had so many expressions of interest for the vacant units now that business owners know about the ambitious plans for the Royal Arcade. Being able to secure one of the anchor tenants on a new lease is good for everyone and is a really good sign of confidence in the Royal Arcade as a premium retail location. It’s another positive step that we have made in returning the Royal Arcade to its position as Norwich’s ‘jewel in the crown’.”