Pop-up shops and restaurants, delis and patisseries could be in the pipeline for Liverpool’s Albert Dock as it revitalises its leisure and retail offer.
A new five to 10-year vision for the waterfront destination was unveiled yesterday (2 March), with plans to attract more engagement from local visitors.
Albert Dock owner Aberdeen Asset Management, which purchased the iconic site in 2016, revealed its focus on providing a “distinct and diverse” food offering alongside an ‘evolving retail’ concept to attract new tenants and drive further footfall outside of weekends and when events are taking place.
During a presentation at the Revolucion De Cuba eatery Gavin Tuck, creative director of Small Back Room, revealed the creative direction for Albert Dock and called on attendees to “not just think of restaurants” when it comes to the changing range of food outlets. The likes of patisseries, brasseries, delis and pop-ups are said to be among the possibilities.
Gavin, who has also worked on reinventing London’s Regent Street, said emerging and independent retailers “are important” to the forthcoming shopping offer, which will see Aberdeen Asset Management operate flexibly to entice both pop-up and permanent businesses.
Meanwhile a proposed new glazing strategy to improve the frontages of retail and leisure units (pictured) along the Colonnades area of the dock was also showcased, and will aim to give “cleaner lines” to the appearance of the Grade I-listed building.
Food and retail businesses with local links are said to be among those Aberdeen Asset Management is looking to attract, as it looks to draw more shoppers from Liverpool as well as visitors to the city.
Gavin added: “The people of Liverpool are very proud of Albert Dock but they don’t engage with it enough.”
Meanwhile Richard Wilson of Aberdeen Asset Management also suggested the firm would like to “team up” with universities in the city to give a platform for graduating entrepreneurs to start their businesses.
He added: “We are working with existing tenants to reconfigure some of the smaller units and create interesting spaces for fledgling businesses to grow.”
So far the Liverpool City Region’s own Leather Satchel Co., which launched an Albert Dock store during the build up to Christmas, is said to be the first signing in the ‘evolving retail’ concept, which promises to bring a “changing, young, progressive, emerging, energetic, un-proven, new, challenging…anything but dull” shopping offer.