16 January 2015

All change on Brum’s shopping scene

The £50 million makeover of the premier mall should restore it to its glory days of full shop units and designer stores that were catnip to premiership footballers and their big spending partners.

A former sorting office for the Royal Mail, the retail section of this mixed use scheme was built round an open thoroughfare which, unfortunately, left shoppers exposed to the elements, potentially ruining the hair that they had so carefully styled at Nicky Clarke’s.

Since 2013, it has been undergoing a major renovation, designed by Sterling Prize winners Stanton Williams, which will see this entire section become enclosed and skylit, creating an “urban room” with new facades, finishes and store fronts.

It will also see the introduction of a three-screen Everyman cinema to the mall.

Due to open in spring this year, more than 70 per cent of the units have been let.

Harvey Nichols, Emporio Armani, Nicky Clarke, Toni & Guy and BBC Birmingham have remained open throughout the refurbishment, along with the scheme’s bars, restaurants and hotels that line Wharfside Street and the canal basin.

Mall Stalwart Hugo Boss has re-committed to the re-launched Mailbox, taking a unit of over 3,000 sq. ft. Joining it are Emporio Armani, LK. Bennett, Jaeger and Gieves and Hawkes.

Urban neighbourhood kitchen Gas Street Social is the latest brand to be announced as part of the Mailbox’s food and beverage offering.

The cornerstone of The Mailbox since it opened, the high end boutique department store has continued to trade as the mall was transformed behind it, although its signature glass bridge that linked menswear and womenswear has been closed off.

However, it is to leave its prime spot at the front of the mall and will to relocate to the heart of the ‘box, in a space that will allow it to more than double in size to 45,00 sq ft. The new store is due for completion at the end of March.

Stacey Cartwright, Harvey Nichols CEO, said: “Our new cutting edge store promises to redefine how we shop – experimental design, innovative technology and the very latest designer labels. We will be offering enhanced collections across our fashion and beauty departments while our restaurant will provide the ultimate luxury experience in food, wine and hospitality in a contemporary environment.

“Style advisors will advise on the latest trends and a style concierge will integrate ecommerce in to store.”