American footwear brand is going where others have feared to tread in Milton Keynes

American footwear giant Skechers is going where other retailers have feared to tread by re-opening an empty Milton Keynes shop unit.

The multi-billion dollar California-based multinational company has decided to move into a former Barclays Bank unit at centre:mk which has been empty for years.

Shops in Central MK

Shops in Central MK

Permission has just been given by Milton Keynes Council for a replacement shop front at 669-671 Midsummer Boulevard, near Crown Walk. The shop is also known as 82A Midsummer Arcade, and the council has also given advertising consent for signs there.

Sid Hadjioannou, director at Turley’s, acting for centre:mk, told the council that the unit had remained vacant for several years but full planning permission to alter the shopfront had been granted in January.

“This planning application seeks full permission for the Boulevard shopfront only for Skechers, a national brand retailer wishing to open a retail unit at centre:mk,” said Mr Hadijioannou.

“In general terms the adopted and emerging development plans support retail use in this location, especially those that maintain and enhance the vitality and viability of the primary shopping area.

“It is considered that this proposal will allow a long standing vacant unit to come back into use.”

There were no objections to the move and Central MK Town Council supported the application.

Council planning officers have used delegated powers to make the decision without referring it to elected councillors.