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The Grouch – 23/09/2010

Another Waitrose, The Grouch and Gordon Burns, King Street gets shirty and The Point smashes it for six

Written by . Published on September 23rd 2010.

The Grouch – 23/09/2010

You wait ages for a Waitrose, then three come along at once
Rumours reach the Grouch that Manchester city centre could be getting a third Waitrose store – in Piccadilly Gardens. We hear the retailer is planning to take on the Nobles amusements unit underneath a building that is set to be turned into a Travelodge. That would pitch Waitrose against Tesco, the Co-operative, Spar and M&S as nearby rivals. It would also mean Manchester going from no Waitroses to three in the space of a few months. No word on when the new one may open, but it is expected to be before next summer. Perhaps it’s the MediaCity effect, perhaps Waitrose expect streams of luvvies ploughing a furrow to its doors. Which is presumably why the northern ‘Waitrose’ Booths bagged the supermarket spot on the MediaCity complex.

New shirt shop for King Street
Meanwhile, one of the empty King Street units is getting a tenant. London shirt retailer Charles Tyrwhitt is opening a store at number 30. The firm has lodged a planning application to fit-out the listed building. Posh London brands coming to little old Manchester? What would the Evening Standard say?

The Grouch meets Gordon Burns
The Grouch went to Lancashire County Cricket Club last week, for the gala opening of The Point, its new multi-million pound conferencing venue. It’s impressive – a room capable of holding more than 1,000 people with a view onto the pitch. Lancs pulled all the stops out. They got the Halle in to provide the music, put on a jaw-dropping firework display and Freddie Flintoff was invited along to celebrate his retirement in typical style.

Freddie was good value and was in charming form, but The Grouch was even more excited when he ended up sat on the same table as TV legend and TV news anchor Gordon Burns. The Grouch nervously introduced himself. “I know you!” said Gordon, almost convincingly. “You’re online?” “Yes,” replied The Grouch. “Do you tweet?” he asked. “I do. I’ve got nearly 4,000 followers. I’ve no idea why.”

Erm, maybe it’s because you’re on telly every night of the week, Gordon.

Gordon’s fellow newsreader Ranvir Singh was also at The Grouch’s table, making the grumpy one go weak at the knees for a bit. Someone had to put a calming hand on his leg, but that’s another story...

Hubbub hits the skids
Sad news from Moorfield Media, one of Manchester’s brighter companies. The firm has been forced to pull its Hubbub event that was due to take place in Spinningfields next month.

“Despite a great deal of hard work, some tremendous industry support and an excellent conference programme, it was clear the event would not reach the expectations of exhibitors, speakers and visitors at this time,” the firm said in a statement. It’s the first show (out of 22) the company has ever had to pull so no shame there. Moorfield will still be putting on the excellent Buy Art Fair, which doubled in size last year.

Warehouse Project 2010 starts – but nearly didn’t happen at all
The Grouch is a closet raver, so he’s been dusting off his white gloves and glo-sticks ready for the start of the Warehouse Project, which opens this week in its usual location beneath Piccadilly Station. Sacha Lord-Marchionne, organiser of the event, told The Grouch: “I had a call prior to the Easter run this year, from the council....saying we had no planning permission. We had to scurry around VERY quickly....we shot down to London to see a QC and sat with Sir Howard Bernstein. “Whilst all this was going on....a competitor was distributing leaflets to all the local residents...trying to create a storm. It cost us thousands.”

We’re sure Sacha will manage though. Now if you’ll excuse me, The Grouch has to go and listen to some progressive trance.

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