Engino, an educational STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematic) building system toy, has made its UK debut with a new education and entertainment concept at Castle Quarter in Norwich.
Engino has taken a 4,405sq ft space across units 54 and 55 at Castle Quarter on a new 10-year lease.
As well as selling Engino’s range of STEM toys, aimed at children from 18 months upwards, the store is home to an education and entertainment area, with visitors able to test out the brand’s building system.
Launched in 2004 in Cyprus, Engino is a modular plastic system enabling children to construct vehicles, buildings and robotic machines. Together with associated Keiro software, it promotes problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity. Its ‘Edutainment’ ecosystem includes STEM workshops, robotics camps and birthday parties, which will be available at the new site.
Engino’s UK debut further improves the offer at Castle Quarter, which has repositioned towards innovative social, leisure and lifestyle operators while retaining its traditional retail strength. The pivot has brought major new brands to the destination, with notable ‘competitive socialising’ additions including Boom Battle Bar, Putt Putt Noodle and Escape Hunt. Improved dining options have also been a focus, including the arrival of independent restaurants such as Silhouette and Hank’s Dirty, as well as the ‘market hall’ style Castle Social. Vue has also committed to a major refurbishment of its eight-screen cinema at the destination.
Castle Quarter has recently seen visitor numbers surge 9% in 2023 compared to the previous year, seven times the increase in Norwich as a whole (+1.2%) and more than twice the rates of the East of England region (+3.5%) and the UK (+3.1%). Following the scheme’s repositioning towards leisure and social, footfall, dwell time and car park usage increased in every month in 2023, year-on-year, with at least 75% of occupiers posting higher trading figures compared to 2022.
Will Ashdown, asset manager at RivingtonHark, said: “Engino’s choice of Castle Quarter for its UK debut reflects its desirability as a location for innovative new brands and concepts, and highlights the shifting profile of the destination following the repositioning. The improvements we are seeing in footfall and turnover illustrate the success of the pivot towards social leisure and lifestyle operators, which is bringing new visitors to the scheme in ever greater numbers. Castle Quarter is the first scheme to successfully shift in this way, and our strategy of providing the retailers, operators and options that people want is demonstrating a new role for city centre destinations.”
Roche and Jamieson Mills are the retained agents on Castle Quarter.