Waitrose Moving to Van Hage

News and views on shopping in the county town.
Golden
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun 01 Dec, 2013 10:36 am

Re: Waitrose rumour

Postby Golden » Tue 03 Jun, 2014 10:45 pm

Interesting development just reported in the Mercury about the lease and Waitrose wanting to take a bit more control over the site.

http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/H ... 215150.htm

Maurader
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Joined: Sun 09 Mar, 2014 10:13 pm

Re: Waitrose rumour

Postby Maurader » Tue 03 Jun, 2014 10:58 pm

Very encouraging as Waitrose is absolutely vital to the future of Hertford town centre. Really hope this means they can stay there and indeed expand the store.

codek2
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Joined: Tue 12 Nov, 2013 4:32 pm

Re: Waitrose rumour

Postby codek2 » Wed 04 Jun, 2014 10:36 am

Excellent news!

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Steve
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Re: Waitrose rumour

Postby Steve » Wed 04 Jun, 2014 1:18 pm

Golden wrote:Interesting development just reported in the Mercury about the lease and Waitrose wanting to take a bit more control over the site.

http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/H ... 215150.htm

The report doesn't mention that the car park is also part of the lease they've given up, and generates about £100,000/pa. The council spent £380,000 doing it up just two years ago. However, they now won't have to spend £50,000 doing up the lifts.

An interesting part of the council's report states: "Waitrose, the Fund’s anchor tenant, have indicated that they are unlikely to renew their existing 25 year lease which terminates in 2016 if improvements to the car park and lifts are not made. In order for a redevelopment to be successful the Fund proposes to upgrade and extend the car park; improve access from the car park to the shops and introduce a pay on exit car parking scheme." (The "Fund" referred to is owner Diageo).

Later: "The fund is proposing to redesign the layout of the Centre; provide an improved and extended public car park which will operate on a pay on exit charging scheme, travelator access from the car park to the Centre and new public conveniences."

Sounds like big changes are on the way at Bircherley Green.

Full report at
http://online.eastherts.gov.uk/moderngo ... 0Lease.pdf

Golden
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun 01 Dec, 2013 10:36 am

Re: Waitrose rumour

Postby Golden » Wed 04 Jun, 2014 1:41 pm

Yes it all adds up to nothing at the moment - to quote Mr Rumsfeld!

"Reports that say there's -- that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know."

My guess is that Waitrose and maybe others in BG are putting some pressure on the authority (and possibly now the owner) regarding the local amenities including the car park as sub-standard facilities for their needs and are looking at options which the council couldn't afford so taking them out of the equation. The situation with the bus terminus is interesting - now its up to the owners (and Waitrose) to do a cost benefit analysis on whether its worth ripping it apart and renovating or Waitrose moving to Ware - if they move then the owners have an awfully big plot of land with sweet FA to occupy it except a bus terminal and cafe. I really couldn't see a lot of the others hanging around if there's not the footfall for Waitrose. Some interesting negotiations to be had!

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Steve
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Re: Waitrose rumour

Postby Steve » Wed 04 Jun, 2014 7:01 pm

I expect to see a planning application for redevelopment go in over the coming months. Diageo and Waitrose have been talking for a long time and buying out the council's lease removes a major obstacle to redevelopment. Waitrose's lease runs out in less than 18 months so Diageo will be keen to get moving. Ever noticed that Bircherley Green has a 100% occupancy rate, despite the retail climate? That's because Diageo need to maximise the value of their portfolio for fundholders, and a fully occupied shopping centre has greater value than one that isn't. On the odd occasion when a retailer has moved out, the unit has not stood empty for long, unlike other parts of the town centre. They know full well that Waitrose leaving would be akin to the ravens leaving the Tower Of London.

And, maybe being pedantic, the proposed Waitrose at Little Amwell is almost as far from Ware as Hertford is. They might have pitched this as "moving" the Hertford store, but I believe that was just posturing to put added pressure on the District Council in order to to free up Diageo. They even said they hoped to retain a presence in Hertford (so not moving at all).

I would bet a tidy sum that there'll still be a Waitrose in Hertford ten years from now. And a more appealing Bircherley Green too.

Anorak
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Joined: Fri 06 Dec, 2013 10:44 pm

Re: Waitrose rumour

Postby Anorak » Wed 04 Jun, 2014 9:41 pm

I sincerely hope you are right. I hate Sainsburys and Tesco and I don't drive. Then again, I don't do the main shopping either.

newcomer
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon 02 Dec, 2013 11:00 am

Re: Waitrose rumour

Postby newcomer » Wed 04 Jun, 2014 10:17 pm

So what would happen about the bus station then? They can't not be one, can there?

MultiDad
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue 10 Dec, 2013 9:58 am

Re: Waitrose rumour

Postby MultiDad » Thu 05 Jun, 2014 9:16 am

I'm trying to work out why Diageo ( a big drinks co) is owner of Bircheley Green? have I got this wrong? I'm sure the Hertford Illuminati will be able to answer..

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rogerstone
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Re: Waitrose rumour

Postby rogerstone » Thu 05 Jun, 2014 10:08 am

MultiDad wrote:I'm trying to work out why Diageo ( a big drinks co) is owner of Bircheley Green? have I got this wrong? I'm sure the Hertford Illuminati will be able to answer..


It's not Diagio as such but Diageo Pension Fund Limited.


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