Hotel Chocolat is opening a new out-of-town concept store this week at The Springs retail and leisure centre at Thorpe Park Leeds.

The luxury brand has agreed a lease to occupy a prominent 3,550 sq ft unit at the centre, with an opening scheduled for mid-August.  The store will include a Velvetiser Café, serving its signature hot drinks alongside cakes and ice cream.

Established with one store in North London in 2004, Hotel Chocolat’s  network has grown exponentially to 125 UK stores,  including many Velvetiser cafes.

Earlier this year, Hotel Chocolat announced plans to focus on destination retail parks as it looks to add 50 more stores to its portfolio over the next three to five years. The retailer hopes to position a visit to a Hotel Chocolat store as a leisure-focused activity, where people want to spend time enjoying the experience.

Hotel Chocolat’s Co-Founder and Development Director, Peter Harris said: “Our latest opening at The Springs Leeds is part of our expansion plans over the next three to five years. Physical stores are extremely attractive and the beauty of being out-of-town is that we have good accessibility and parking so customers can drive to us and spend an hour or so experiencing our Velvetiser Café and browsing our delicious chocolates at their leisure.”

The announcement follows hot on the heels of a new letting to award winning handmade frozen food expert, Cook, which recently agreed a deal to occupy a 1,618 sq ft at the Springs with a unique outdoor sampling area.  Pret a Manger and Loungers have also opened at The Springs in recent months, boosting the food and beverage offering for visitors.

Rachel Vickers, Senior Commercial Manager at Scarborough Group International (SGI), developer and asset manager of The Springs and Thorpe Park Leeds, said:

“We are delighted to announce that Hotel Chocolat is coming to The Springs Leeds. There seems to be a marked change in the way that brands look at out of town retail destinations and are increasingly attracted to their attributes in terms of accessibility, environment, and footfall.

“At The Springs we’ve been able to demonstrate strong visitor statistics which is helping to attract aspirational operators like Hotel Chocolat.  The opening of the East Leeds Orbital Link Road, along with news that Arriva is reinstating a direct bus route into The Springs and the forthcoming railway station on site will only help boost footfall and trade in the future.  So, it makes for a sound investment for occupiers.”

The Springs is a 350,000 sq ft shopping and leisure attraction located at the heart of award-winning business destination, Thorpe Park Leeds at Junction 46 of the M1. Outlets include Next, Boots, M&S, TK Maxx, The Range, H&M, Pure Gym, Nandos, and many more.

Because of its unique and highly modern environment, The Springs has been used as a springboard for new concepts by other operators.  These include the UK’s first purpose designed ODEON Luxe cinema, the joint venture between Next and Piccolo by Piccolino, a new concept store for The Range, Vitruvian dental practice and the recently opened Elan Laser Clinic as its first venture in the UK.