Home of Evans Cycles goes up for rent in the city centre
- Credit: Archant
The building currently occupied by Evans Cycles in Norwich's Westlegate Street has been put up for let — with high rents believed to be behind the firm's decision to move.
It is understood the chain is on the hunt for a new city location rather than jumping ship on its Norwich endeavours.
A store manager, in fact, said the business was "only on the up".
It is believed the rent for the Westlegate site is being listed for £55,000 through chartered surveyor Francis Darrah, with a source claiming high rents were partly informing the decision to seek a new home for Evans.
The Frasers Group, which bought Evans Cycles in 2018, was contacted for comment but did not respond.
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Guy Gowing, commercial partner at Arnolds Keys, said he imagined the £55,000 asking price was a reduction from what Evans is currently paying for the rent.
He added that the business may be hoping to move in pursuit of a better location.
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He said: "Usually when businesses move it's not just about rents.
"Westlegate for example, used to be a busy transport thoroughfare, but not anymore.
"Perhaps the business wants to move somewhere it can get more exposure."
Mr Gowing noted that the Frasers Group was a "massive retailer", and may be looking to "flex its muscles" on buying power to get the best terms.
Speaking generally about whether high rents are encouraging businesses to move out of prime city centre spots, Mr Gowing said he was sceptical, as rents were always listed at market value.
He explained: "A landlord will always try and let properties at market rent.
"But if their estimate is too high it will sit vacant for a long period of time and they'll have to revise that price."
It was announced Evans Cycles was moving into Westlegate tower in 2014, with the pedestrianisation of Westlegate Street being decided and then completed soon after in 2017.
Before then the space lay unoccupied when fast food chain McDonalds quit the site in 2006.
A couple of months ago, Evans Cycles' first-floor neighbour, Paula Gundry's Interior Designs also decided to leave its Westlegate branch behind.
Ms Gundry has relocated her main showroom back to the place her business began in Unthank Road, and put her former first-floor premises up for let.