Shopping centre will open half empty

LESS than half the units at a major new shopping centre will be open and ready for business when the development opens next week.

Laurence Cawley

LESS than half the units at a major new shopping centre will be open and ready for business when the development opens next week.

The �100million Arc shopping precinct will open in Bury St Edmunds next Thursday.

But of the 35 retail units, just 15 - including the landmark Debenhams store - will open their doors for trade to mark the occasion.

A spokesman for Centros, which is behind the Arc development, said: “Debenhams and a further 14 of the 20 confirmed retailers will be opening their doors on 5th March, with the remainder opening in the following weeks, according to retailers' own timetables. “Centros is currently in advanced negotiations with a further two national and international brands.”

The latest business to sign up for a unit at Arc is the clothing brand Animal.

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Paul Haynes, Centre Manager of Arc, Bury St Edmunds comments: “We are delighted to announce this week that Animal has signed up to open in Arc, Bury St Edmunds.

“Animal is a highly desirable brand and will really complement the fantastic line up at Arc, which includes urban fashion and outdoor specialists such as Crew Clothing and Fat Face.

“Animal hopes to be open very soon and will provide yet another exciting new brand coming to Bury St Edmunds for the first time; proving the calibre of the first-class retail centre that will soon be trading in this wonderful town.”

Animal is an action sports brands and sells clothing, watches, eyewear, footwear, luggage and accessories.

Fat Face, another clothing store, has confirmed it will be opening on March 7.

The store manager Jitka Svarcova said: “Fat Face already has a core fan base in the area and I'm sure the store will be a great success. Fat Face prides itself on providing a unique and exciting shopping experience to all our customers.

“Our store looks fabulous and will be fun, exciting and inspirational. The vivid, bright and colourful graphics around the store really help to bring the clothes to life.

“A unique and exciting feature will be the community wall, where customers will be able to pass on details of adventures to others.”