Innovative independent businesses are rushing to sign leases in Wembley Park, London’s globally renowned entertainment district and 365-day neighbourhood, with two further deals made in the last week – including one that already has a space in the destination.
Organic goods specialist The Grocery Store has chosen Wembley Park as the place to expand its business, with the local, family-run firm signing a lease on a 1,400 sq ft shop. Meanwhile, Black Sheep Coffee has decided to open its second coffee shop in the neighbourhood, which will span 850 sq ft, and feature a day-to-night leisure concept of coffee in the day and cocktails at night. Both new signings will occupy part of White Horse Square, which is designed to be focused on community benefits.
Wembley Park is award-winning developer Quintain’s multi-billion pound new destination, built around the vision of a 15-minute neighbourhood in which residents and visitors can find everything they could want or need within a short walk. Featuring an imaginative spectrum of independent and big-name brands, including Amazon Fresh and some of fashion’s global giants at London Designer Outlet, the capital’s leading fashion and lifestyle outlet centre. Wembley Park will also be home to some 20,000 residents by 2027 at the UK’s largest single build-to-rent site.
Quintain’s retail strategy for Wembley Park encompasses both innovative independents and neighbourhood amenities, plus global household names. This strategy has taken on a renewed sense of importance since the pandemic, with CACI research published this month finding that a net increase of 9% of people are planning to visit their local high street more often after the pandemic. The firm also published research in October 2020 finding that 42% are now visiting their local high street on a weekly basis.
Wembley Park is already home to an array of independent companies, including London’s largest BOXPARK, baked goods specialist Bread Ahead, homemade Italian dishes restaurant Pasta Remoli, inclusive haircare brand Chop-Chop London, plus the entrepreneurial merchants and makers of Wembley Park Market. Earlier this summer, it was announced that twice Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar is to open a restaurant in the neighbourhood too.
While specialising in organic and environmentally friendly produce, The Grocery Store, a family-owned business local to the area, will stock many of the convenience items that Wembley Park’s tens of thousands of residents and those from farther afield will benefit from having on their doorstep. Some of the store’s attractions include packaging-free products, such as nuts and seeds, as well as coffee and deli food prepared on site.
Amaad Iqbal, Co-owner of The Grocery Store, said: “As one of London’s most exciting new neighbourhoods, Wembley Park is absolutely the right place for us to grow our business. In the last year, our customers have spent more and more of their time at home – and we’ve seen just how important it is to them to shop local and support their community. That’s why it’s such an incredible opportunity for us to open our second store, just down the road from our first in Kensal Green, and offer fantastic produce at affordable prices to the growing community of people who live in, work in and visit the area every year.”
Meanwhile Black Sheep, an artisanal coffee shop with a strong focus on ethical trading, has signed to open a second unit in Wembley Park. Its existing 1,600 sq ft café opened at Wembley Park in August 2018, close to one of the neighbourhood’s three London Underground and train stations. The independent coffee brand has now signed to open a second coffee shop, with a cocktail bar element, in White Horse Square. The day-to-night concept will serve residents and visitors looking to catch-up over a quality coffee during the day, before transforming into a bar in the evening, further enhancing the evening economy at Wembley Park and London Designer Outlet with their strong line-up of restaurants, bars and cafés.
Matt Slade, Retail Director of Quintain, said: “These independents, alongside major brands, will enable the people who live and work here, and those who visit, to find everything they need within a 15-minute walk – whether that’s from their front door, the tube door or their car door. From rifling through an eclectic market for hidden treasures to shopping your favourite international fashion brand, from home-cooked meals to luxury desserts, from social gaming to catching the latest blockbuster or a piece of theatre, Wembley Park offers a complete eating, drinking, shopping and playing experience.”
Wembley Park has some 1.2 million people living within a 20-minute journey time. Minutes from central London, it is easily reached by three Tube lines, two train lines, eight bus routes plus ample on-site car parking.