a Leeds retail safari – with an unimpressive Trinity

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.

pbakldspicture 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.

mandsstallphoto by the lovely LeedsGrub

There’s a pop-up One Direction store, which I kept getting asked for directions to by harassed looking Mums.

1dstallldsphoto from the YEP

And that 1D store is in the newly opened Trinity Leeds.  I first saw the plans for it in 2008ish (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.

trinityldsphoto 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:

freezing trinity leedspic by me, for once

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.

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