Boxpark aims to expand at the rate of three sites per year, with each site adapted for the local market, CEO Simon Champion tells MCA.

The dining, retail, and leisure operator announced the launch of its sixth site in Liverpool next year, and its first Boxpark-branded venue outside London following openings in Shoreditch, Croydon, and Wembley. It also began the rollout of its sibling F&B concept BoxHall this year, with venues next opening in Bristol and London’s Liverpool Street next year.

New sites will open under both the Boxpark and BoxHall concepts.

“Food and drink will always be at the core of the business but with each scheme, we will adapt our offer for each local market,” Champion says. “For BoxHall Bristol, we want to have a diverse music programme as the City is home to vibrant music scene, and at Liverpool, we want to bring our famous fanpark concept here with the big football/sports culture.

“Our Liverpool site announced today will be our first Boxpark-branded site outside London.”

The group is looking at sites in all “obvious big cities and regions” across the UK, he adds, with a focus on offering a high value experience with quality food and drink.

“At present our trading remains strong and footfall and revenues are well above pre Covid levels,” Champion reports. “We have focused on having compelling reasons to visit, and that has enabled us to buck trends in central London footfall. And our Wembley and Croydon sites are benefiting from significant residential construction around them.”

Amid growth plans, immediate concerns for the group include the energy crisis and staffing shortages.

“It is good to see the government recognising this with support for six months, albeit the mechanic of how this support works isn’t well thought through - hospitality is still somewhat beholden to how electricity suppliers decide to price their new contracts and the government should be clearer on what they expect from suppliers.”

The expansion strategy involves a focus on leases for 10+ years and investment for the long-term. Due to the implementation of new tech at new sites, initial costs are significant but led to more robust and efficient operations longer-term, according to Champion.

“As innovators in the hospitality & leisure sectors, we pride ourselves in our leading technology across our estate.”