The Mall Luton

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The Mall Luton
Luton Mall.jpg
Location Luton, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°52′50″N 0°25′50″W / 51.88056°N 0.43056°W / 51.88056; -0.43056
Opening date 1972
Management Brian McFarland
Owner The Mall Company
No. of stores and services 128
Total retail floor area 755,000 sq ft (70,100 m2)
No. of floors 2
Parking 2,300 spaces,
Website Luton Mall Website

The Mall Luton is a large shopping centre in the centre of Luton, United Kingdom. It was formerly an Arndale Centre until it was purchased by The Mall Company in 2006. It was temporarily called The Mall Arndale, but is now referred to as The Mall Luton, although local people still refer to it as "The Arndale".

History[edit]

Originally opened in 1972 as The Arndale Shopping Centre in Luton, the Mall purchased the site in January 2006. The Mall Luton is undergoing changes and new investment. The centre has 128 shop units occupying 754,556 sq ft (70,100.5 m2), and parking for 2,300 cars.

The area that would become the new shopping centre was cleared during the 1960s. Many notable buildings which had escaped the damage of World War II were subsequently demolished. Work started on the new shopping centre in the late 1960s and when it opened The Arndale Centre in Luton was the largest covered shopping centre in Europe; it was later ousted from this position by the Manchester Arndale centre.

Stores[edit]

Below are just a few of the many stores, For a full updated list visit the Store Finder
As of January 2014;

Argos, Boots, Debenhams, TK Maxx, Wilkinsons, Marks and Spencers, Primark, Game (retailer), WH Smith, Shoe Zone

In January 2008 it was announced that the Woolworths shop which had been in the Mall since 1973 would be closing. The shop was closed in March 2008 when the lease expired. The store is now a three level Marks and Spencer.

There are currently a significant number of empty units, or short term lets. Some of the national-chains have closed during 2007 and 2008, including Currys Digital, Woolworths, Burtons and Base. Independent retailers have also been closing, some blaming the perceived decline in the centre.[1]

There are a total of 128 stores

Extension plans[edit]

St Georges Square[edit]

Following the completion of the redevelopment of St George's Square in Luton, The Mall Company remodelled the St George's Square end of The Mall Luton.

The development created 8,825 sq m (75,000 sq ft) of new retail space across 8 new retail units. Three levels of car parking at the top of the development provided an increase of approximately 200 car parking spaces. On completion The Mall Luton totalled 77,199 sq m (831,000 sq ft).

The new six-storey building has an entrance directly onto St George's Square, with escalators inside the building taking shoppers to the main mall level.

Ken Ford, chief executive of The Mall, said, when the scheme was announced:

"Our proposals will provide enhanced retail units in order to improve the retail offer in the town. They will also improve The Mall Luton's relationship with the town – by providing bright, modern shop fronts and a landmark new entrance we will vastly improve the Mall's presence onto St George's Square and help create an attractive area for the people of Luton to shop, eat and relax."

TK Maxx was the new anchor tenant for the extension,[2] with Argos also taking a unit. Completion of the St George's Square redevelopment was planned for autumn 2009. However, due to the recession the funding was delayed. The redevelopment was completed in 2012.

The Northern Gateway area[edit]

In December 2007 a further planning application was submitted for a much larger extension to the Mall,[3] which will be a multi use development. As well as several much larger shopping units, housing and office space is planned. The site is between the Mall and Train station, and would see total redevelopment of Silver Street, Bute Street, one side of Cheapside and Part of Guildford Street.

Although much of the site is either car parking or vacant, two grade II listed buildings and several locally listed buildings would be demolished, including several 19th century hat factories for which the town was once famous.[4] The plan has been criticised by English Heritage[5] and the Victorian Society who described the plans as "shocking".[6] [7] Following the comments the Mall have stated that following discussions with council officers, "amendments to the application are being made".

References[edit]

External links[edit]