Yorkshire advisors help charity’s southern superstore expansion

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Commercial property lawyers from Sheffield-based Wake Smith Solicitors have worked with a national charity to open two new fundraising stores – one being its biggest ever opened.

Ben Spencer acted for Salvation Army Trading Company Limited on the lease for the 17,500 sq ft high street store, now branded as a Great Big Charity Superstore, on Abington Street in Northampton.

Wake Smith, who have advised Salvation Army Trading Company on a number of matters over the last nine years, also recently worked on the lease for a new 10,000 sq ft store in Banbury in Oxfordshire.

The buildings had previously been home to national retailers and required complex legal work around underletting and fit out work for new use.

Commercial property director Ben Spencer said: “The legal work for the Northampton store, which is their biggest store to date, was pretty involved as there were a number of unusual issues which necessitated some challenging drafting.

“What the charity has now, in Northampton, is a bold new concept on traditional charity shops. It really differentiates Salvation Army Trading Company from its competitors and provides, not only a unique shopping experience with a diverse product range, but a place for the local community as well as providing opportunities for volunteers.”

The Northampton superstore sells clothing, furniture, electricals, white goods, nursery items but also operates its very own café with equipment and furniture donated by Costa Coffee, and Lavazza drinks.

As well as serving the community pastorally, the superstore provides a range of opportunities for volunteers including retail experience and barista training. All profits from both stores will be used to support the Salvation Army’s work.

Jonathan Peacock, Head of Property Services at Salvation Army Trading Company, said: “Our new Great Big Charity Superstore concept really does set the standard for charity retailing.

“Our new store in Northampton has been so well received by the local community and we hope the new store in Banbury, when this opens early in the New Year, will make an equally encouraging start to its trading life.

“We have, over the years, developed a partnership relationship with Wake Smith whose professional advice and guidance through the legal complexities of acquiring these large format stores, as well as the significant number of successfully completed standard format transactions, has been invaluable in us achieving our growth aspirations.”