Posts tagged ‘Leeds’
I went on a bit of a Retail Safari round Leeds yesterday morning:
We’ve heard of Pound Shops, but how about the Pound Bakery? They’ve over 30 stores, mostly in the North.
picture from a RidingsFm promo event because I didn’t think to take pics, doh
M&S have taken a stall at Leeds Market (where the original M&S first launched as open-air stall in 1884) selling souvenirs and PRing their new museum (yes, really) which exhibits stuff from the company archive and has just opened at the other end of town.
photo by the lovely LeedsGrub
There’s a pop-up One Direction store, which I kept getting asked for directions to by harassed looking Mums.
photo from the YEP
And that 1D store is in the newly opened Trinity Leeds. I first saw the plans for it in 1998ish (my old agency had a lot of property development clients) and it was sold to us as a way of connecting disparate shopping offers, rather than as a new development. It’s obviously been re-positioned since then because from all the hoo-ha round here you’d think it was the biggest thing to happen to retail since Bluewater.
photo by the gang at Leeds retail agency Gratterpalm
In reality, they’ve put a funky glass cover (note not a weatherproof roof, you can see the gaps at the edges in the photo above) over several different buildings that already had shops in them, connected them up, created walkways to access upper floors more easily and added some extra square footage by taking advantage of awkward corners and so on. It’s only half-open at the moment and freezing cold because not only is the roof more of a roughly fitted awning than something capable of stopping hot air getting out, the entrances are all ten foot wind tunnels with no doors that simply serve to bring the cold air in. It was so cold when I visited that people were wearing gloves inside and one Spanish restaurant had abandoned their al fresco terrace and stuck this sign up:
I thought there would be enough interesting stuff around Trinity to keep me going for a few hours of nosing about. In reality, I gave up and went on a hunt for some new jeans, finding them in a store outside the development. Where it struck me that the one thing Trinity has changed is the shape of the shopping hub for Leeds. It used to be T shaped (Briggate and Albion Place) and now with Trinity’s main entrance on Briggate and stores from Albion relocating into it, it’s become a one street town center. Which can’t be a good thing.
I stumbled across two big pieces of promotional activity going on in Leeds yesterday:
The gist of this first lot of activity seemed to be, ‘Put Pork on your Fork! Bacon sandwiches are delicious! Eating lower salt ones means you can eat them more often! Here, have a hot bacon butty, the ketchup’s over there.’ (his hair isn’t blue by the way, it’s a hairnet)
The Bacon Bus has done a day each in London, Manchester and Leeds as this is Salt Awareness Week (no, me neither). The sampling team were friendly and engaging and by lunchtime the queue for a mini butty was 20 deep and the enticing smell of bacon was wafting through Briggate.
In contrast, I walked past the Mint Aero Bubbly team several times over the course of a couple of hours and the nearest they got to engaging anyone was breaking off from chatting among themselves to thrust chocolate at confused shoppers. While I wouldn’t want to be dressed up as a green bubble on a hot day it still wasn’t very impressive.
According to facebook Aero teams were handing out 125,000 free samples across the country this week, but I know which team will have had the biggest impact per sample.
This has been winding me up on my way in to work for weeks.
First Bus in Leeds promises a regular service on their special UniLink service, every 10 mins.
Well actually, that’s not true. It’s really
up to every
most of the day
I’m willing to bet this was a classic case of communications decision making by committee. A bit like this perhaps?
I’ve been struck by the number of black 4x4s with tinted windows I see on the way to work in every morning. No, its not a drug dealer’s convention – it’s the school run. When did Leeds get so upmarket?
I know everyone made a fuss when Harvey Nicks moved in eleven years ago, but now according to rumours, a very-well-known-and-expensive-shoe-designer is to join Jo Malone, Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood and Nicky Clarke in parting (the apparently not all that tight-fisted after all) Yorkshire folk from their brass.
Its not as if we even have a premiership football team whose WAGS might provide some spending power.
Our office is in the studenty bit of Leeds. Those of you who keep an eye on the UK news might be aware that the lovely Chelsy Davy (girlfriend of Prince Harry) has come up here to study for a year.
Our new favourite lunchtime game? Spot the paparazzi. Extra points for anyone who clocks a news crew.
In my defence, I should state that I was there under duress, but stop laughing at the back, the man is a comedy genius! He kept a full house (including me) laughing non stop until nearly 1AM. And he’s 79 years old for heavens sake. Apparently he has got a reputation for going on a bit, but I knew we were in for a long one when someone came on stage with a flask and sarnies “You haven’t brought your own? How naive!”
The supporting acts were rubbish (William Tell Overture on the banjo, anyone?), but I really enjoyed myself.
Maybe sometimes we need to put our preconceptions to one side and try something new, however uncool it may be.