Two new shops are set to open in the footprint of the old Topshop store in the Manchester Arndale shopping centre.
The huge space has been standing empty since the Arcadia group went into liquidation in 2020, leaving a prominent gap in the Arndale’s concourse.
But now two retailers have snapped it up, with Gilly Hicks and Clarks moving into two newly-created units.
The new Gilly Hicks store – Manchester’s first – will sell a range of activewear, loungewear and intimates, including menswear and a new gender-neutral collection.
Its sister company Hollister is moving into the former Disney Store unit, where it will continue to sell clothing, fragrance and accessories.
Clarks, famed for its quality shoes, boots and trainers, are taking on a 3,551 sq ft unit on a 10-year lease.
Pizza Hut have also committed to opening a new express takeaway outlet in the Arndale food court.
Other new signing at Manchester Arndale include Pure Fashion, who recently committed to a 3,709 sq ft store on a five-year lease, Debenhams.com, Tommy Hilfiger, Pandora, Canada Goose, Kick Game, Carvela and Kurt Geiger.
The city centre shopping hub is now at 95% occupancy.
Colin Flinn, spokesperson for Manchester Arndale, said: “We are delighted that Clarks, Gilly Hicks, iFix and Pizza Hut have decided to join the line up at Manchester Arndale.
“Rather than try and re-let the whole of the former Topshop space, we made the decision to split the space, and create three new high-quality units in a prime location.
“This decision has proved correct as we have now secured two well-known tenants, with the last unit currently under offer, which shows that retailer demand for quality, well placed units remains high.
“We are equally pleased that Hollister and Swarovski have recommitted to Manchester Arndale, demonstrating confidence in the centre as we continue to attract and retain popular international brands and retailers.”
Nicolas Burquier, managing director, Pizza Hut Europe & Canada, says: “We’re excited to open a new Pizza Hut Express at the Food Court inside Manchester Arndale.
“As we continue growing Pizza Hut in the UK, we’re always looking for accessible ways to reach our customers and deliver our much-loved signature flavours in a way that works for them – and our Express arm allows us to do just that.
“Our customers will now be able to enjoy their favourite pizza either to takeaway or enjoy in the food court communal seating area.
“It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a bite to eat while shopping. We’re looking forward to welcoming our pizza fans in November, and for anyone looking for a job, keep an eye on our website.”
Michael Bisping announces second ‘Tales From The Octagon’ talk with Manc MMA star Tom Aspinall
UFC legend Michael Bisping is bringing back his hugely popular Tales From The Octagon conversation series and he’s bringing Manc MMA star Tom Aspinall as well as Scottish fighter Paul Craig along for the latest Manchester talk.
Following the success of his first trio of live shows back in 2021 — then marketed simply as ‘An Evening with Michael Bisping’ — the Lancashire-raised fighter has invited along the two fellow Northerners to make this latest event more of a discussion surrounding MMA’s past, present and future.
Despite being born in Cyrpus, Bisping spent most of his life not too far down the road in Clitheroe and has spent a lot of time in Manchester, including winning multiple fights at the AO Arena and even meeting his wife, so there was never any question he’d be bringing the tour back to his second home.
Hosting just two shows this time, one at London’s Indigo at the O2 and the other at the Manchester Apollo, the talk promises stories spanning years inside the Octagon as well as the 44-year-old’s time commentating cage-side since retiring back in 2018.
The second Tales From The Octagon live show will also see the special guests chipping in with plenty of their own “wonderful, hilarious” and exclusive “behind-the-scenes stories” and they provide their own take on the MMA scene at large of today.
Craig, a former light heavyweight champion and Aspinall, a Salford-born heavyweight currently ranked fourth overall in the UFC, will both be joining the expert panel across the two dates this winter, bringing their own funny anecdotes, personal stories and unique takes on their careers and the sport as a whole.
Best of all, like sitting down to watch with a mate who also happens to be a vastly knowledgeable fight fan, Bisping style on stage draws both casual and new fans with the open, informal style, whilst still making sure to entertain the hardcore followers of the sport.
With Aspinall being not only a local lad but one of the UFC rising stars and next in line for a heavyweight, we’re also looking forward to hearing his thoughts on how fast-growing career. Here is Bisping speaking on just how excited he is by the 30-year-old fighter:
Speaking ahead of the two new shows, Bisping said: “The last tour in the UK was epic, I was overwhelmed by the turnout and reaction of my fans old and new. I can’t wait to come back later this year with a new show and with Tom and Paul in tow.”
Given the popularity of these three and the fact the previous tour went down a treat, it’s fair to say seats to sit in on this conversation are going to go fast.
Now branching into acting, running a successful podcast and YouTube channel, not to mention a Sunday Times and Amazon Best Seller thanks to his 2019 autobiography, Quitters Never Wins, you’re getting a real value-for-money showing.
The Tales From The Octagon 2 talk in Manchester takes place on 16 December; tickets start from just £28.50 and you can secure yours HERE.