National retailer Gift Universe agrees 10-year lease on new Hull distribution centre

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

ONE of the country’s leading gifts and gadget retailers has committed to Hull long term after agreeing terms on a 10-year lease for a second distribution centre.

Commercial Property developers and landlord Stoneferry Estates has confirmed the letting of a 60,000 sq ft unit on the Stoneferry Park development, at Foster Street, to successful national retailer and distributor, Gift Universe Group (formerly Menkind Group).

Gift Universe, which has its head office in Dorking, Surrey, bought out its Hull-based rival Red5 in August of last year. The firm retained both brands moving forward, with Red5 targeting younger buyers with gadgets and Menkind focused more on gifts and an older target customer base.

Now, it has agreed an additional facility to the Hessle-based distribution centre which had been used for Red5, acquiring a large unit on the Stoneferry Estate in Hull, which has recently benefitted from a £650,000 refurbishment by the property owners.

Gift Universe has agreed a 10-year lease at the premises, something which Tom Healey, director at Stoneferry Estates, says is good news for the city.

“This deal sends out strong message about Hull and the confidence Gift Universe has in the city,” he said.

“We’re delighted to have done this deal and ensured that a company, which has such strong links here with the Red5 brand being established in Hull, has extended its presence here for the foreseeable future.

“For us this has been a big investment to bring this particular property up to the standard required to accommodate a successful modern business.

“The unit dates back to the 1970s, but we have brought it up to date and as a result we have been able to provide a modern home for growing and ambitious national business.”

Red5 was founded in 2005 by Hull-based entrepreneur Jonathan Elvidge, the original creator of the Gadget Shop, and Joth Baron.

Its first store opened in Hull before it went on to establish nine permanent UK stores and four concessions in Hamleys and Selfridges, in addition to a number of pop-up stores, at the time of its sale.

Menkind reported sales growth of 30 per cent in 2015, a turnover of £35 million and a net profit before tax of £3.2 million. It now has more than 40 stores across the UK, and has expanded the Red5 network to 18.

Mr Healey added: “It is important for the city to ensure businesses with big successful brands are not only attracted to the city, but that those already here retain a presence into the future. When businesses transfer to new owners, there’s never any guarantee that they’ll stay local.

“This however has not been the case here and I am pleased to see that Gift Universe has committed to stay in Hull which will further benefit job creation and the local economy”.