5,000 fewer stores on the high streets say BRC – Optimistic proposal from JTF Central to roll out new retail and leisure fusion concept – including NI and Ireland
Brand new concept store fuses retail and leisure for ‘unique shopping experience’
Amid a bleak backdrop of vacant shop fronts, job losses and forced retail closures, the planned launch of a new concept retail brand, JTF Central, brings ambitious and optimistic plans to change the face of bricks and mortar retail and inject life back into the UK high street.
Introducing a unique retail concept to the high street, JTF Central will place entertainment at the heart of the shopping experience, with ambitions to acquire 50 stores, ranging between 25,000 and 125,000 square feet, and create 2,000 new jobs in the process.
The new JTF Central brand is being launched by established discount retailer, JTF Mega Discount Warehouses, which currently boasts a portfolio of twelve warehouse stores in out-of-town locations across the Midlands and the North, with sites in Leeds, Sheffield, and Newcastle.
The company says it has plans for both Northern Ireland and Ireland.
The British Retail Consortium estimates there are around 5,000 fewer stores since the start of the pandemic, meaning 1 in 7 shops now lie empty. In a bid to bring customers back to the high street, JTF Central plans to buck the trend and invest significantly in town and city centre sites, bringing retail and leisure together under one roof to create an entertaining and engaging new way to shop.
Jeremy Coombes, Director at JTF Mega Discount Warehouses, explains “We acquired JTF in January 2020, just three months prior to the pandemic, and have experienced first-hand the challenges the retail sector has faced, including a lack of availability of stock to fulfil demand. Whilst working hard to navigate challenges, our new management has taken the opportunity to plan for the future, evolve the business to meet new consumer expectations post-pandemic and develop exciting, innovative new retailing concepts.
“We are confident that we can take our experience and learnings as an out-of-town discount retailer and apply these successfully in new areas, such as high streets, with a creative and innovative new approach to retail. Combining the leisure and entertainment sectors with shopping, JTF Central will bring the JTF experience to new customers in a unique way, creating a fun place for children and families to shop, and injecting life back into vacant high street stores in the process.”
Brand new to JTF Central, shoppers will be entertained in every area of the store by a welcoming and engaging team with fun themed food outlets, an indoor garden centre, toy shop with live demonstrations, pet area, interactive audio area and a new sustainable eco concept area, displaying all the latest products to save money.