Oliver Bonas signs first store in Essex

Oliver Bonas, the independent lifestyle brand, has signed for its first store in Essex, with the retailer securing a 4,000 sq ft regional flagship at Aquila Holdings’ Bond Street mall in Chelmsford. Set to open this summer, Oliver Bonas is one of five new brands to have committed to Bond Street post-lockdown as the centre demonstrates its resilience and ability to attract the best retail and culinary operators.   

Situated adjacent to The White Company, Hotel Chocolat and Tag Heuer, Oliver Bonas will trade on the ground floor with a 1,788 sq ft sales area, showcasing its complete fashion, homewares, beauty, jewellery and accessories ranges.  Founded in 1993, Oliver Bonas has 78 stores in the UK and ROI.

In addition to Oliver Bonas, Aquila has signed Clarendon Fine Art and Giggling Squid, with the three together totalling 10,000 sq ft of space. 

Clarendon Fine Art has opened a 2,000 sq ft gallery at Bond Street.  With its flagship gallery on Dover Street in Mayfair, Clarendon’s Bond Street location is the brand’s latest regional boutique and its first in Essex 

Giggling Squid, the BGF-backed Thai restaurant chain founded by Andy and Pranee Laurillard in Hove in 2009, is to launch a 3,800 sq ft restaurant with a further 1,100 sq ft riverfront dining terrace. Giggling Squid joins brands such as Bill’s, Wagamama, Ask Italian, local champion Tiptree and Everyman Cinema in creating an F&B and leisure offer unique in the region 

Dominic Chambers, Managing Director of Aquila, comments: “These lettings reaffirm Bond Street as the region’s premium shopping and leisure destination. Oliver Bonas, Clarendon Fine Art and Giggling Squid complement and strengthen our aspirational tenant mix, while the collaborations with Spritz Social and The Pop-Up Club have energised our outdoor space and provided a platform for local independent traders within the destination. 

“Delivering all of them post-covid is testament to Bond Street’s ability to attract the best brands, keen to capitalise on such a wealthy and loyal demographic. We are delighted the five have signed and our team has worked hard with each to create new reasons for our customers to visit.” 

Oliver Tress, Founder and CEO, Oliver Bonas, adds: "We are delighted to be opening a store in Bond Street in Chelmsford. The open air nature, architecture and vibe of the city make it a great place for OB. We look forward to welcoming customers into our new store very soon."

Andy Laurillard, co-founder of Giggling Squid, adds: “Bond Street is the ideal location for Giggling Squid.  It has a character and appeal that suits our brand, and it is very evident from the high footfall there is great customer loyalty. We’re excited to bring our fresh Thai food to the area and can’t wait to welcome the local community.” 

Developed and owned by Aquila, the Bond Street mall opened in September 2016 and comprises John Lewis, 25 premium brands, seven riverside restaurants and a five-screen Everyman cinema. 

CBRE and Jamieson Mills acted for Bond Street. Colliers represented Oliver Bonas, Lawson Hubbard Lowe acted for Clarendon Fine Art, AG&G for Giggling Squid and Spritz Social dealt direct.