Arcadia deal set to lure tenants to Didcot

The Orchard Centre at Didcot, Oxfordshire, was this week close to finalising a deal with Arcadia, seen as key to letting the remainder of the scheme.

The fashion group was due to sign on three two-storey units, providing a total of 16,570 sq ft (1,540 sq m), under offer to Burton, Evans and Dorothy Perkins.

'These are key deals that bring some fashion into the scheme,' said Chris Cave, a partner at Vail Williams, which is letting the development jointly with Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker. 'Putting Arcadia into the scheme will help to let the balance.'

Arcadia has negotiated preferential terms, in keeping with the reputation it has gained for forcing developers to make concessions before it will sign up for space.

'They are driving a hard bargain,' Cave confirmed. Retail warehouse operators report Arcadia is adopting a firm line over new retail park space.

The Orchard Centre, due to open next Easter, will be anchored by Sainsbury's, which begins trading in late November.

Some 18 of Orchard Centre's units remain to be let. Woolworths, Argos, Bewise, Heart to Heart, Greggs and Specsavers are signed, with other units under offer to PowerHouse, New Look, Robert Dyas and Superdrug.