Skechers is one of several retail brands endorsing Hammerson’s Oracle in Reading ahead of a busy year for the shopping center. Following the opening of the Japanese restaurant, Osaka and a 3,900 sq ft branch of Natwest in January, the mall’s owner has revealed that two more brands are due to open at the center later this year.
The list of newcomers includes global footwear powerhouse Skechers, which will add a 3,200 sq ft store at The Oracle to its portfolio of UK locations.
The shoe brand, best known for its athletic forms and casual lines, will be joined by fast-food chain Leon.
Hammerson said it was this mix of leisure operators and established fashion names that are building The Oracle into a shopping destination where consumers can satisfy their appetite for experiences.
Iain Mitchell, UK commercial director at Hammerson, said: “These lettings really highlight the Oracle’s appeal to both consumers and brands, and demonstrate its position as a leading retail and leisure destination.
“We know that more and more consumers are looking for an experience when they visit our destinations, combining shopping with a meal or a leisure activity. That’s why we are targeting engaging F&B brands like Osaka and Leon, and outstanding fashion brands like Skechers. This is just the start for the Oracle; we have a lot more planned for 2020.”
The mall operator did not reveal further details about its plans for the shopping center, but it has been very clear about its intention to focus solely on flagship destinations, premium outlets and ‘City Quarters’. Last year, it sold £975m worth of assets, and in February it announced the sale of a portfolio of seven retail parks, essentially exiting the retail parks sector.
The group still owns one retail park, Brent South, part of the Brent Cross estate, which is held in a joint venture with Aberdeen Standard Investments.