Representing a £10m deal for the Antrim-based scheme, the new store is set to create 150 jobs and will feature an outdoor garden centre, an indoor plant area, a pet & bird care department, a food hall, a children’s soft play area and a new restaurant and café.
Plans for what will be Dobbies’ second store in Northern Ireland were submitted earlier this year, kickstarting several new leasing announcements for The Junction. American lifestyle and footwear brand, Skechers will open a new store this month at the scheme, while iconic Canadian coffee and bakehouse chain, Tim Hortons, is expected to open a drive-thru restaurant in early 2022.
Speaking of his visit to The Junction, Economy Minister Gordon Lyons, said: “It was a pleasure to visit The Junction. I very much welcome the expansion of this retail park and the recently announced investments by Dobbies and Skechers. These investments are vital in continuing our economic recovery from the pandemic and bring much welcomed job opportunities. One of the key actions within my Department’s Economic Recovery Action Plan is the High Street Scheme which was designed to stimulate recovery in our local businesses, such as retail.
“The deadline to use the Spend Local cards has been extended to 14th December. Many local businesses have further incentivised spend in their premises by offering additional savings or rewards. I would encourage all cardholders to use their Spend Local cards to support businesses in their local area that have been impacted by the pandemic. Spend it now, spend it all and spend it local.”
The Lotus Group purchased the Antrim-based scheme in 2016. Lotus Property Managing Director, Alastair Coulson, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Economy Minister to The Junction and take him through the plans for the new Dobbies store, which represents one of the most significant retail deals for Northern Ireland in recent years. Our vision has always been to transform The Junction to firmly place it on the map as Northern Ireland’s largest retail and leisure destination, and we are confident this new store will bring both significant job creation and investment to the retail sector.”