One of Hull’s busiest shopping centres is gearing up to launch its rebrand thanks to a six-figure investment plan that will completely transform the whole shopping experience ahead of City of Culture 2017.
Prospect Shopping Centre is seeing a £500,000 investment from owners New River Retail – which includes a full rebrand, new flooring and scenic lift – and is also soon set to announce the names of two new retailers due to join its unique mix of national brands and independent retailers.
Lee Appleton, centre manager, believes the expanding retail mix and major refurbishment investment, coupled with an extensive events programme lined up for this year, will really help the centre solidify its status as a popular shopping destination that’s focused on providing a community focal point within the city centre.
He said: “Our expanding multifaceted roster of both premium brands and local retailers will no doubt position Prospect Shopping Centre well ahead of Hull’s retail offering in time for 2017.
“Hundreds of thousands of visitors are anticipated next year and we are working towards ensuring we are as prepared as we can be to attract those wanting to shop.
“The centre is meeting the anticipated demand by ensuring we have an action packed events programme both this year and next, some exciting cultural partnerships and a revitalised new look thanks to our new branding, signage and interior facelift in the mall.
“We are very keen to ensure the centre is an attractive retail destination that the local community and visitors to the city centre can enjoy.
“We hope that the new look will continue to attract interest from new retailers and also give shoppers the opportunity to rediscover just what the centre has to offer.”
Expanding its retail mix and changing the way it looks is just one of the ways the popular retail destination – which attracted in excess of 7.5 million visitors last year – is preparing for the UK City of Culture.
Last year, the centre launched a number of culture-inspired initiatives, such as Busk Central, which saw buskers invited indoors, and Arts in the Park which saw a partnership launched with eight primary schools.
Plans are now in place to launch a formal partnership with Hull School of Art and Design to develop ideas including live art demonstrations and gallery evenings in time for 2017.
Mr Appleton added: “All eyes will soon be on our city and it’s important that Hull’s retail sector gets behind the Uk City of Culture and does everything possible to maximise its potential.
“We are currently developing a Prospect for Culture branded series of events that will help us establish ourselves as supporting the city’s wider plans and celebrations.”
Major improvements have already begun on the retail destination, which will soon simply go by the name of “Prospect Centre” and will swap its signature red and blue trademark for a more modern colour palette as part of the rebrand which was done in association with up-and-coming design students.
Mr Appleton hopes the developments will increase spending for the centre’s retailers.
He added: “The rationale behind the re-brand is to give the centre a fresh and modern feel. We are improving the perception and the quality of the centre not just for our valued customers but for our current and future retailers too.
“By investing in the improved aesthetics of the centre we hope to show that we are committed to developing Hull as a retail destination, further enhancing the fantastic offer we already have here.”