�10m revamp in store for Ilford’s shopping centre

Bosses at the Exchange Ilford shopping centre are launching a �10million refurbishment which will include a 20,000 sq ft store for major fashion retailer Next over two levels.

With Westfield Stratford City opening in September, owner Meyer Bergman is responding by bringing the 20-year-old High Road centre up to date with new branding throughout, bigger stores and a more “sophisticated” choice of food outlets.

Entrances to the centre in Cranbrook Road and High Road will be given a new look and managers say the redesign will involve “significant” work in every part of the centre.

The builders are due to move in next week for the redesign which will take about 21 weeks, with the aim of having many of the improvements in place for Christmas.

General manager, Marc Myers, said: “We need to adapt to the changes that have revolutionised shopping in the last 20 years.

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“Shoppers now want bigger stores and a more sophisticated style of restaurant, and the changes will reflect both these demands.

“In spite of the obvious competition we will face when the Westfield Scheme opens in Stratford, there is a strong future for the Exchange and Ilford so long as we continue to respond to the demands of our shoppers and reward their loyalty.”

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He was “delighted” with the addition of Next.

“The prospect of welcoming them later this year, together with other new retailers as part of our development, is testimony to the confidence we should all have in our town centre.”

Exchange Ilford attracts more than 11m visitors per year with outlets including Debenhams and TK Maxx.

Mr Myers appealed for shoppers’ patience during the building work.

“We hope our shoppers will understand that running a development project and shopping centre simultaneously can be something of a balancing act!”

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