‘To Let’ signs go up on Topshop in York – but store says ‘We’re staying’

Topshop in the Coppergate Centre on Wednesday. Photographs: Richard McDougall
26 Aug 2020 @ 12.48 pm
| Shopping

Anyone visiting the Coppergate Centre today might be forgiven for thinking that one of its flagship stores was about to close.

Large ‘To Let’ signs have gone up in the windows of Topshop, alongside posters for a ‘Final Clearance’ sale.

However, Arcadia Group – which owns Topshop, Top Man and Miss Selfridge – told YorkMix the York stores were not going anywhere.

A group spokesman said: “There is absolutely no plan currently to close any of these stores.

“We are continuing to trade, our lease is intact, and we have no immediate plans to close any of these brands.”

He added that the clearance sale related to the last chance to buy the store’s summer stock.

Property being marketed

Arcadia’s property group are now investigating why the signs have gone up.

The basement, ground and first floor of the property is being marketed by Rawstron Johnson, and by Savills, as ‘York retail premises to let – subject to vacant possession’.

The particulars – which you can read here (PDF) – say that the accommodation compromises more than 37,000 sq ft over the three floors.

They also say that the premises could be divided into smaller units. “The property has the potential to be split to match occupier requirements.

“Access can be provided to both basement and first floors in isolation from both St Mary’s Square and Piccadilly frontages.”

It comes with a rates bill of £334,800.

‘We’d be sorry to see Topshop go’

Iconic: the Coppergate brolly walk

Coppergate centre manager Pippa Unwin said: “We would be sorry to see Topshop go, if that is the case, but the Coppergate Centre does very well thanks to its strong mix of varied cultural attractions (Jorvik Viking Centre, St Mary’s Church and Fairfax House), shopping (from luxury brands to affordable fashion), food and drink, with plenty of outside space options. 

“Together, these appeal to a wide range of shoppers, tourists and local residents and make it an extremely welcoming and resilient part of the city centre. 

“Shopping centres with this kind of make up are few and far between, added to which in recent years, the Coppergate Centre has become an attraction in its own right thanks to the Brolly Walk which has become a must-see for tourists and the Instagram generation.”

The Coppergate Centre has been a retail success story for York. Until the announced closure of Boots it had no vacant shops.

Troubled cake chain Patisserie Valerie also revealed it wasn’t reopening its Coppergate branch in July.