Is the Royal Arcade the new hotspot for up-and-coming brands?
- Credit: Chris Ball Photography
One of Norwich's most historic shopping strips has fast reinvented itself with a host of unique new brands.
From homeware stores to expanding independent distillers, the 19th century Royal Arcade is a far cry from the emptying destination it was a few years ago.
So has the area become a mini retail incubator? The tenants on site certainly think so.
Madeleine White is the co-director of the arcade's newest business, cosmetics brand Juni and Co.
The 25-year-old Norwich native of the family-fronted business said: "We actually didn't intend to have a shop in Norwich, the arcade got in touch with us.
"We had a look out of pure nosiness but we fell in love and three months later we got the keys.
"We wouldn't have sought out another venue. With the windows and the light, it feels like the right space - it's so beautiful."
- 1 Holidaymakers face further severe TUI delays from Norwich
- 2 Posh hotel gets one-star food hygiene rating
- 3 Police make arrests in Norwich crime hotspot
- 4 City brothers evicted from home so landlord could put rent up by 54pc
- 5 Man who rushed to help woman stabbed in city park feared she might die
- 6 Six-bed Victorian home in sought-after city location on market for £1.35m
- 7 Park fenced off as new equipment gets installed
- 8 Police continue to investigate city cannabis factory find
- 9 Why is this cafe voted one of the best brunch spots in Norwich?
- 10 Foot-long crayfish lurking in Wensum must be killed 'on sight' - ecologist
Juni and Co is the sister brand of Juni Cosmetics, which is co-owned by make-up artist Madeleine White and mother Suzanne who launched the business in April 2020.
The brand is 100pc plastic free, vegan and organic and runs a return and refill programme, which gives customers a 10pc discount on their next purchase.
"When we're up and running, we want to focus on events and forming a strong community," Madeleine added.
"The arcade feels homely. It's is everything that's nice about Norwich - everyone gets involved and is very supportive."
Speaking of supportive neighbours, fellow new tenant Gyre and Gimble - which opened its gin bar in the Royal Arcade in June - is making a one-of-a-kind gin especially for Juni's launch event at the end of the summer.
Boss Craig Allison said: "What we've bought into being part of the arcade is a rejuvenation under its new ownership.
"We're still very much trying to put our stamp on the city as a local brand.
"There was quite a lot of competition for our unit and we're definitely more risky tenants.
"We had to get an alcohol licence and asked for the arcade to be kept open later - all of these things were going against us.
"But we felt like the Royal Arcade also bought into us - as a younger and more ambitious brand with green credentials.
"We hope we're drawing tourists to the arcade. We're new blood now but we'll become the old one day with our ten-year lease."
What the arcade has to say
Simon Ashdown, director of LPC1, the property management company running the arcade on behalf of the owners, said: "We are really pleased that the first four businesses to have agreed leases in the Royal Arcade since the owners bought it are all run by young, local entrepreneurs with fresh ideas and bags of energy.
"They will be a brilliant complementary presence to the Arcade’s more established retailers and will bring their own unique and engaging propositions that I am sure the shoppers of Norwich and Norfolk will enjoy."