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Ashford Designer Outlet extension almost half empty

The Ashford Designer Outlet expansion opened a week ago - but almost half of the new part remains empty.

Bosses cut the ribbon to the multi-million pound extension last Thursday, unveiling new clothing stores, an enlarged food piazza and an interactive children's playground.

21 units are still empty despite the centre opening a week ago. Picture: Google Earth/Editorial Graphics
21 units are still empty despite the centre opening a week ago. Picture: Google Earth/Editorial Graphics

But despite a large addition of almost 50 new retail units, 21 are yet to be filled by designer brands.

Bosses say Bedeck, Tempur, Carhartt WIP, Kate Spade, Cosmetic Company, Calendar Club, and Tripp are set to move into the new extension between now and early 2020.

The Jasmin Vardimon dance company - which is based at the Stour Centre - is also expected to open at the centre in January on a temporary basis.

But plans for the remaining 13 empty units in the new extension have not yet been revealed.

The vacant shops are currently being used to promote new brands and advertise clothing.

New Designer Outlet extension (21436586)
New Designer Outlet extension (21436586)

A spokeswoman for the outlet said: "We remain focused on developing a premium brand mix to complement the brands already open and trading.

"With the new phase now fully operational, we expect to welcome more exciting new brands going forward.

"The expansion is over 70% leased with more arriving between now and the start of 2020."

One of the empty units just off Newtown Road
One of the empty units just off Newtown Road

In the units which have been filled, big brands including Five Guys, YO! Sushi, Dr. Martens, UGG, and Armani have opened.

Bosses report that footfall is 24% up from last year, prior to construction of the 100,000 sq ft extension.

International clothing and trainer giant Puma is set to start trading soon from an older unit, as is Haribo, which is set to open next Thursday (November 21).

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