Thursday, 26 April 2018 11:00

Spires deny closure rumours

Written by Nick Jones
H & M in The Spires H & M in The Spires
Footfall in the Spires shopping centre is up by over 50 per cent in the first three months of this year – just one of the statistics the management are quoting to squash rumours that two leading tenants, the H&M fashion store and Carluccio’s restaurant, are thinking of pulling out.

“We have been plagued for weeks with untrue speculation,” says the Spires’ management team.

“Because of reports across the country of High Street closures, some locals seem to think that the same problems are hitting the Spires, but that’s not the case.

“The doom and gloom merchants are wrong: H&M and Carluccio’s are not closing down.”

The centre’s management team insists that the Spires’ major tenants are meeting their sales targets and there are no store closures in prospect at the centre.

“The doom and gloom merchants are wrong: H&M and Carluccio’s are not closing down.”

Cameras clock the number of customers entering and leaving the Spires and they indicate that there were 121,610 more customers in the three months to the end of March this year than in 2017 – an increase of 56.4 per cent.

“The Spires’ landlords have invested millions in the centre and all the indicators are positive.”

Carluccio’s is currently advertising on line for additional staff, and the success of the first teenage market – on Easter Saturday – was regarded as another encouraging development.

Sixteen young traders have booked pitches for the second teenage market on Saturday 5 May and they will be backed by four young musicians performing at the bandstand.

National Car Parks has given the Spires an assurance that there will be no repeat of the difficulties motorists have been experiencing when using the multi-storey car park.

Confusing and unreliable parking machines have prompted a barrage of complaints, and NCP says that in view of a breakdown in service standards, recently-imposed parking fines have been cancelled.

NCP has told the Spires that in future there will be regular checks of the machines; clearer signs and instructions for cards and cash; and whenever possible an attendant will be available to give motorists assistance.

The fashion chain H&M opened its store at the Spires in September last year following the construction of a new 24,000 square foot anchor unit at the centre.

H&M signed up for the new store after a £7 million refurbishment of the centre was announced by Hunter Real Estate which manages the Spires on behalf of the Canadian pension fund, Alberta Investment Management Corporation, which purchased the centre in 2015.

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8 comments

  • Comment Link Thursday, 26 April 2018 12:12 posted by Dennis Bird

    Please forward to Canada,Spires owners Why all all those empty spaces in the Spires? Victoria Bakery pulling out,Waterstones just taken over by an American Hedge Fund.
    What next??

  • Comment Link Friday, 27 April 2018 09:29 posted by Lorna surya

    The Spires certainly needs more small independent shops like The Present up at Hadley. How many card shops does one need.
    It has improved but there's more to be done. The rents charged are the biggest problem along with parking charges.
    Places like BrentX, which is to have major development the parking is free, and will take more trade.
    I really want to Barnet improved.

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:16 posted by Deborah Deasy

    For years before the redevelopment local residents were really looking forward to shops like H&M and the prospect of more restaurants but this hasn't been handled well at all. Removal of the garden style cafe area has left the centre looking like a concrete jungle completely devoid of character and charm. I used to enjoy sitting outside with friends amongst the trees and flowers and really miss this. I know I'm not the only one. We were assured by developers that there would be planters but there are barely any (think 3 shrubs) and no flowers. Its such a shame

  • Comment Link Thursday, 03 May 2018 17:38 posted by Linda OShea

    I totally agree with the lady above, the Spires is bare and it used to look really nice before the re-development. Now all you see are empty shops. Please put some life back into the Centre and plant some plants and flowers. The deckchairs were also a nice touch to sit down in the sun for 20 minutes or so. The high rents will kill the shopping centre, like the high street, charity shops and street drinkers sitting on the pavement, getting worse and worse.

  • Comment Link Monday, 07 May 2018 20:06 posted by Andy

    Hurry up and get the high street pavement widened. It’s looking very down on its luck at the moment.
    I still can’t get over Starbucks hosting a petition against it. They’ve now closed down. Oh the irony.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 16 May 2018 13:40 posted by Greta Morris

    I cannot believe there is a proposal to build a Premier Inn Hotel on the site of the old Barnet Market. Those poor residents in the cottages overlooking a building site for months and then a Hotel What madness. As for extending the pavement and losing Parking spaces it will finally KILL the High Street.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 17 May 2018 16:44 posted by Julian

    How I agree with the comments about the new and improved Spires being bland and lacking any charm or character.
    Bring back the hanging baskets both inside the Spires and the High Road.
    I have just returned from Palmers Green and the Winchmore Hill area. It makes Barnet appear tatty and outdated
    Very sad to see Barnet looking so downtrodden and almost neglected in comparison.

    Hopefully things will improve over time.

  • Comment Link Monday, 19 November 2018 11:58 posted by Melissa

    Spires management have admitted they are still getting plenty of complaints from customers about unfair parking charges since ANPR introduced and because NCP signage wasn't installed until as recently as the middle of September. So customers didn't know they would suddenly get a 'PCN' in the post for 'overstaying' for a few minutes because cameras clock your car entering and exiting and equate that to actual parking time incorrectly.
    Does anyone know when NCP's yellow signs were finally put in? Definitely after September 1st?

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