The Yeovil store, which opened in June, has already increased footfall and attracted shoppers from a wider catchment. It is only the 3rd of Dunelm’s 170-shop portfolio to be located within a town centre and demonstrates the strength of Yeovil as a retail destination.
Benson Elliot acquired the 200,000 sq ft Quedam Centre in 2013. Since then, it has focused on improving the tenant mix. Located in the former BhS unit on Ivel Square, the Dunelm store further enhances Yeovil’s town centre offer.
Alongside major occupiers including H&M, JD Sport, M&S, Boots and Primark, the leasing team has also attracted a vibrant mix of local independent retailers. “These independents haven’t simply filled vacancies left by shrinking high street brands, they are the glue that binds assets such as Quedam into the town and customers hearts,” says Jonathan Ratnage, of Benson Elliot.
Following its success with the Quedam Centre, Benson Elliot has signed a planning performance agreement with South Somerset District Council to deliver a new mixed use development. By the end of the year, it hopes to submit plans to transform the adjoining Vincent’s Yard and Cattle Market sites into a scheme incorporating commercial space, food and non-food retail, leisure, a hotel, new homes, a market hall and cinema.
“With town centres under attack from all angles, it’s vital that we bring forward proposals such as these and seek the support of all stakeholders in re-energising the places at the heart of their community,” adds Ratnage.