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Jacques Vert joins big brands at expanding Quays

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 09, 2013

EXCITED:   Manager Jo Blundell with  Deborah McGuinnes, Kay Dyche, Louise Whalen and Gemma Cooke.

EXCITED: Manager Jo Blundell with Deborah McGuinnes, Kay Dyche, Louise Whalen and Gemma Cooke.

Comments (14)

FROM glamorous evening wear to warm woolly coats, the latest new store to open up to shoppers in Gloucester Quays has something for every occasion to welcome women through the doors.

Jacques Vert enjoyed its first day of trading yesterday with shoppers flocking in to pick up a bargain and get prepared for the winter months ahead. The outlet store also stocks brands including Precis, Kaiko, Planet, Dash, Windsmoor, Minuet Petite, Alexon and Eastrex.

Nine new staff have taken up positions there, with possibly more to follow.

Store manager Jo Blundell said: "I was hoping to take a look around the Quays but it has been so busy on our opening day I've not had the chance.

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"I've heard good things about Gloucester and it looks to be on the move.

"Opening up here is a great opportunity for us. Once the cinema is open and more restaurants and bars launch here the footfall will only increase. It is an exciting time to be in Gloucester."

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14 comments

  • jas37  |  November 11 2013, 11:45AM

    This website seems to have a mind of its own sometimes My last line was supposed to read - "just imagine what the area would be like if Peel had been successful in buying the remaining Bakers buildings and the whole scheme hadn't been held up in planning. We could have had a new shopping Centre on Blackfriars (if BT had been more co-operative) and a completed Quays development. Just imagine how much trade that would have taken away from Cheltenham."

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  • jas37  |  November 11 2013, 11:11AM

    Glos-Lad34 It sounds as if you have picked up on one of the many Gloucester urban myths. A few years ago someone said to me that the City Council wanted to move the City Centre to "The Quays". The Council had nothing to do with the conception of the Quays, Peel conceived the idea in the 1990s (if not before) of an up market Waterfront shopping and Leisure complex (there are archive documents on line somewhere if you can find them). The Council were slow to warm to the idea and progress was very slow going (an understatement). Arrowsmith (I think that was the name) planned to build a new shopping Centre on Blackfriars, that would have been a huge boost to the City Centre but due to land ownership issues it didn't happen. Both the Blackfriars Shopping Centre and the Quays could have gone ahead at the same time if the complications with Blackfriars could have been sorted. Peel just never gave up on Gloucester and have pumped a huge amount of money into our City. The Quays is never going to be the City Centre, it is an Outlet Centre, there are no large department stores, in fact no really big Shops at all, but the new Cinema, Bars and Restaurants will make a huge difference to Gloucester. It's a pity that Bishop Bros have not been more co-operative with their holdings at Baker's Quay. They are a decaying eyesore but have a lot of potential. Peel j

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  • Glos_Lad34  |  November 10 2013, 8:04PM

    @Jemmywood Because Gloucester Quays is the new city centre and the current one will be all residential I expect in a few years anyway.

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  • jas37  |  November 10 2013, 7:21PM

    Jemmywood At last we agree on several points. There seems to have been a huge swing between your first and last comments. Yes, large parts of the City Centre is years behind the Quays and large parts of Cheltenham Town Centre but why (up until your last post) were you so focused on criticising The Quays. Would you actually have preferred that Peel had invested their money in another Town or City? Many people (me included) spend much more time (and money) in the Centre of the City than they did before the Quays existed instead of going to Cheltenham or Birmingham, the new Cinema etc can only increase the likelihood of this happening even more. SWRDA were never going to fund an entire project such as Kings Square redevelopment. Peel spent around £200m on the Quays and the SWRDA spent around £8m on the Docks public realm and linkages scheme to ensure that the Centre of the City benefited as much as possible from the new visitors that the Quays attracted to Gloucester. The ratio of private to public spend is blatantly one sided. If a developer/investor had committed to the Kings Quarter development perhaps the SWRDA would have committed some money. I disagree with you regarding the Train Station, Gloucester Station is far superior to Cheltenham Station, it's just a pity we don't have Train services to match. Some people are already objecting to the Kings Quarter development "we already have some empty shops so why do we need more" is something that is often trotted out. They don't seemed to have grasped the importance of attracting major investment in order to attract major quality retailers. As I posted earlier, Cheltenham has sucked the money out of the area for years. The Quays is a big step in halting and even reversing this trend, King's Quarter is the next big step needed. We can only speculate what the situation would be now if the Quays had been allowed to open well before the recession, it seems likely that the King's Quarter development would have followed on fairly quickly but phase 1 of the Quays opened around 3 years late, the recession had taken a grip by then and King's Quarter hasn't happened at all- yet. A point of criticism of the Council, I can never understand why visitors from the Cathedral are directed down a back alley to the Docks. Surely we should be encouraging visitors to walk through the Gate Streets for the benefit of all. Many tourists miss Westgate and Southgate street altogether due to this signage. It would be interesting to hear the explanation for this.

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  • JemmyWood  |  November 10 2013, 4:21PM

    Jas37, Thank you for once again insulting me; you must be a local politician. To answer your points, I did actually mention Kings Square in an earlier post thanks. I was also aware that the two shopping centres in Chelt also had a lower footfall than the EastGate shopping centre (I read the Citizen by the way) but the difference? Cheltenham City centre provides a better shopping 'experience' than Gloucester, so will always attract more visitors. What do you prefer, nice leafy open roads with space, or a 1960's(?) concrete nightmare? I also do see the benefits of the Cinema and restaurants, I'm not daft, but you seem unable to see my point (blinkered perhaps) about the City Centre. Are discount retailers the way forward for a city centre? No. The lack of 'big name' shops and numerous low end discount shops hints at a city in trouble. Are people going to visit the City Centre to see its vast array of £1 and 99p shops? No they are not. They will stay at the Quays. Yes The Westgate Centre is in dire need of a revamp, Yes Kings Square and the Golden Egg (There-I mentioned it just for you jas39) need redeveloping, The Bus station and the Train Station desperately need upgrading - where is the SWDA to assist in all that? Yes the retailers need to get their acts together, but so does the City and County Council to assist them on the way. Whichever way you look at it, in the City Centre - better surroundings will attract more visitors which will in turn increase business, but it is currently 40 years behind the Quays.

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  • jas37  |  November 10 2013, 1:12PM

    newmax, It's refreshing to hear from someone who has some vision and makes the effort to gather and understand the facts (unlike one or two other posters) p.s The Council does not put on or advertise events at the Quays, the owners do that themselves, unless you were referring to the Tall Ships Festival of course. I fully agree with the rest of your comments.

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  • jas37  |  November 10 2013, 12:59PM

    Jemmywood The decision to award matches to Kingsholm was made in 2013, the improvements to Southgate Street made in 2009/10. I assume that you are aware that one of the factors that swung things our way was one of the Head Rugby World Cup organisers visited the Quays food festival and was well impressed with the event, organisation,venue and phase 2 developments. It seems odd, you criticise the Quays but I don't hear you criticise the owners of Kings Walk Shopping Centre, look at the state of the Golden Egg building. No-doubt the owners of Eastgate still monitor footfall, and they still apparently have vacancy rates below the National average. Were you not aware that both Regents Arcade and Beechwood both had much higher vacancy rates than Eastgate until a few months ago? The opening of the new H+M and revamp of Regents Arcade have made a huge difference. You seem oblivious to the fact that the majority of Gloucester residents travel to Cheltenham (or even Cribbs) when they want to go to the Cinema, for a Meal/an evening out. Can you see what a difference having a quality new Cinema and Bars and Restaurants will make , all just 6 minutes stroll from the Cross and 10 minutes walk from the main bus station? Just imagine how many people will be spending their time and money out and about in Gloucester rather than Cheltenham. I was born in Gloucester and have spent the majority of my life here so I am fully aware of the lack of vision of many of its residents. Often I hear people including family, friends ,work colleagues etc repeat comments that they clearly have not thought out. "The Council shouldn't have spent so much time and money on Quays use"d to be a favourite one and "look at what Bristol did with Cabot Circus" Some seem to think that the Council owned the City Centre shops, the Docks, the Railway triangle etc,etc. The City Council recently forced the Quays to take down the advertising banner because they didn't like the look of it but GL1 still has multiple signs that do not have planning consent. As far as I can see the only person focusing on the Quays is yourself i'm afraid

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  • newmax  |  November 10 2013, 12:42PM

    There doesn't seem to be any specific focus on the quays by the council. Just by Peel who own it. Perhaps questions need to be asked why the owners of kings square are dragging their heels. Councils dont control shopping centres. The only way the city centre will improve is if commercial landlords do their bit. The Eastgate centre has had a bit if a revamp in order to increase shopper numbers that will obviously help to attract new shops. Kings square is dire and needs to be sorted by the world cup which I doubt will happen without some serious willpower as aviva and stanhope seemed to have disappeared back into the shadows. Im sure the council could do lots more with mass advertising campaigns and events like the quays but the money needs to come from somewhere to pay for that. Tell you what lets have an increase in council tax to give the council the funds they need to promote the city to the level it deserves. Nope hang on didn't think people would like that. Gloucester is a fantastic city with stacks of potential and has really started to improve thanks to the gradual redevelopment by those willing to believe in us like swdra and peel. We should all be proud of our city and yes it takes time and the world cup will force the next stage of development but we will get there. New shops are opening all the time in the city centre yes some are discount retailers but better than having just another empty unit. Gloucester is on the up and I much prefer this city to cheltenham.

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  • JemmyWood  |  November 10 2013, 11:07AM

    jas39, Firstly, thank you for the humour(less) misspelling of my name... you really need to brush up on your history. Yes I am aware that the SWDA (a Quango with a long published history of wasting money hand over fist) paid for the upgrade of Southgate Street. And as you rightly say, you do see people wander up from the Quays, but as soon as they have fought their way past the Chuggers and see the run down City Centre, they VERY QUICKLY turn on their heel and go back to the Quays. You mention about Northgate Street saying 'why would tourists walk in from that direction'. mmmm well lets think about this shall we...Maybe because there is nothing apart from crumbling buildings to see or do down there. But wait... Isn't the RWC coming to Gloucester? And hang on, if I'm not mistaken there is a Premiership Rugby Club in that area that is being used, so YES there will be tourists coming into Gloucester from that way very soon. What a great impression Northgate and Worcester Street will give them. Strangely Kingsholm is the roughly same distance from the Cross as the Quays, yet isn't classed as the City Centre (please correct me if I'm wrong) so doesn't attract the same levels of interest in council circles. Also you hold Patisserie Valerie as a beacon of enterprise. One posh cake shop a city centre does not make. You also note that the East gate Shopping centre saw a 40% increase in footfall the weekend the Quays opened... has anyone bothered to continue to monitor this? It would be interesting to see the footfall now. More empty units in the East gate centre can only mean one thing my friend. I also find it hard to believe that the City Council has no sway whatsoever on matters to do with the Bus Station being 7th on the County Councils list of priorities... With the amount of mutual back scratching that goes on are you seriously telling me nothing can be done? The Phase 2 development will indeed draw more people into the Quays and but has anyone thought about how this will draw people away from the actual city centre even more? With its increased bars and restaurants... the businesses in the city centre will continue to wither on the vine. And with the Quays now actively complaining to the planning committee against other businesses starting up which it thinks might damage it business (the start up on the Bristol Road that wasn't allowed after complaints from The Quays a few months ago for example), it is becoming the Gloucester playground bully very quickly. I agree with you though (shock horror) about the City Council lacking vision, but to say the residents don't as well, is slightly insulting. I love Gloucester, it has a proud history and has lots of potential... but the continuing focus on just the Quays is a fool's errand. The Gate Streets and The Kings Quarter need re-developing and re-developing now... not in 15 years time.

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  • jas37  |  November 09 2013, 11:05PM

    Jennywood The Southgate Street improvements (funded by the SWRD not the Council) were made to help draw visitors from the Quays into the Centre of the City. Have you sat outside the New County on a pleasant afternoon and witnessed the number of visitors that wander up from the Quays (many are easy to spot, they're well dressed and looking lost) Would Patisserie Valerie opened in Gloucester if the Quays didn't exist? What would have been the sense in spending this money on Northgate Street- how many visitors/tourists walk in from that direction? The Bus Station may have been 7th on the County Council's list but I understand that the City Council have little influence over this. The main reason that there are relatively few quality shops in the City Centre is that Cheltenham has sucked the money out of the area for years. That's one of the reasons that phase 2 of the Quays is so important to Gloucester. Not only will it encourage Gloucester residents to spend time and money in their home Town it also draws in people from a much wider area- including Cheltenham residents. Can you imagine how many additional visitors will be attracted to Gloucester once the Cinema additional Bars, Restaurants etc are open? Do you recall that the (then) owners of the Eastgate Mall reported a 40% increase in footfall during the weekend that the Quays opened? "Bristol" didn't develop Cabot's Circus, Land Securities and its partners did, the Councils only part was granting planning permission. Arrowsmith (If I remember rightly) tried and failed in building a new Shopping Centre at Blackfriars and Peel battled for years to get the get the Quays development off the ground. How did it take so many years to allow Peel to invest approx. £200m in Gloucester. No wonder potential developers of King's Quarter have been extremely cautious. In my opinion the City Council lack vision and ambition, but i'm afraid this just reflects the attitudes of many local people. Look how many were initially against the Quays development because they were unable/slow to see the big picture?

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