Dobbies gets go ahead for £10m Antrim garden centre

A new £ 10m Dobbies garden center has won the go-ahead from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

he new 110,000 sq ft store at shopping destination The Junction is the chain’s second store in Northern Ireland and one of the biggest retail lettings in the UK and Ireland in recent years.

It will be one of the chain’s biggest UK stores.

The Junction is owned by Northern Ireland property group Lotus, which also owns the Boulevard in Co Down.

The new store will feature outdoor and indoor plant areas, outdoor furniture, pets, gifts and toys, as well as a food hall, a children’s soft play area and new restaurant and café.

The store is expected to attract a footfall of around one million visitors per annum, creating 110 new full and part-time jobs.

When open, Dobbies will be one of the largest employers at The Junction and within Antrim town.

Alastair Coulson, managing director at Lotus Property, said: “We’re thrilled to receive the news that planning permission has been granted for this flagship store.

“Not only is it fantastic news for The Junction and the local economy but also a signal that Northern Ireland is open for business.

“It is fast becoming one of the UK’s most promising retail environments, especially with regards edge of town shopping and leisure.”

In January, Lotus said December had been the highest month of sales on record for The Boulevard. There was annual growth in sales of 23% compared to the same period in 2019.

And at the Junction, sales were up 14% on the same period

Lotus Property was advised by Johnstone Property Consultants.

Its managing director Mark Johnstone said: “This is a hugely significant retail letting in Northern Ireland to what will be one of the largest Dobbies Garden Centers in its portfolio.

“The scale of the store will allow Dobbies to deliver a tremendous customer experience, which is anticipated to bring up to one million customers per year.

“The scale of the signing is testament to the importance of physical retail stores and the continued strength of edge of town retail schemes.”

Graeme Jenkins, CEO at Dobbies said: “We’re delighted to have been given the green light to move ahead with our plans to open our store at The Junction, building on the success of our established Lisburn garden center.

“Its prime position off the M2, just north of Belfast city center and towards the popular Antrim coast, will allow us to bring the Dobbies’ experience to a new area within Northern Ireland.”

Dobbies was founded in 1865 as Dobbie & Co and has grown to become the UK’s leading garden center retailer. There are 74 Dobbies stores throughout the UK.

Tesco bought the chain in 2007 but sold it in 2016 to investors led by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital.

The Lotus Group acquired The Junction and the Boulevard in 2016,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.