Geek Retreat, Unveils New Store in Bedford

Published on 09 August 2021

Event in Bedford Town Centre

Event in Bedford Town Centre

Geek Retreat, the geek culture retailer, gaming café and events up rolled into one, is opening its new store in Bedford.

Sited in the Harpur Centre Unit 10 and providing 10 local jobs, it will offer the community a safe, friendly environment where people can come and enjoy their shared interests. Fans of Marvel, Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh! to Warhammer and Pokémon – and even traditional board games, are welcome at the store and can meet and play their hobbies in the café. Customers can enjoy a high-quality menu with vegetarian, vegan and kid’s options, ensuring there’s something to suit everyone’s taste, which has been developed in partnership with leading food service firm, Booker.

Making sure that Geek Retreat provides an inclusive, welcoming, and social environment for its more vulnerable customers, like those on the autistic spectrum, or with mental health issues is also extremely important. It has a national partnership with the National Autistic Society.

Newlyweds, Sharon Lockhart and Rob Harden saw Geek Retreat as a way to bring people back together after a very challenging time. Sharon said, “Many people are suffering with social anxiety and struggling to get back to feeling confident, especially those with special needs. The unique feature of Geek Retreat is that it provides that space where you can easily make new friends because you share common interests. We are committed to making it truly accessible to all regardless of age, race, gender or ability.”

Jordan Stevenson, Bedford shop manager, said:

“We are so excited to be opening Geek Retreat Bedford. It offers something very different to the traditional shopping experience- a place to play and have fun but is also somewhere that is safe, inclusive and where all people can meet and make friends. The Bedford Geek Retreat is a gaming café with delicious food, geeky themed shakes and drinks and a wide range of stop in, free to play games. With everything from Tots mornings, home education sessions, sensory gentle events and the more traditional evenings of Warhammer, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic the Gathering, D&D and board games, there is something for all! Our friendly team can not wait to meet everyone.

James Burchell, Partner at Tellon Capital, said:

“We are delighted to have secured Geek Retreat as an occupier in the Harpur Centre.

We have worked tirelessly during Covid to bring new operators into Bedford, ones which will enhance the experience of visiting the centre and we believe Geek Retreat will do just that.

We are looking forward to seeing them open and building a successful franchise here in Bedford.”


Geek Retreat is on track to open 60 of its planned 100 new stores on high streets by the end of 2021, creating 360 jobs around the UK. The franchise is on track to meet its previously announced target of a total of 100 new stores in 2022.

Its growth is echoed by the increasing popularity of boardgames, card trading and tabletop games which make up an industry worth £8 billion in the UK and is predicted to grow by 3.1% annually over the next three years.

Peter Dobson, Chief Executive of Geek Retreat, commented: “The opening of the Bedford store is another step in the growth of Geek Retreat franchise. The Geek Retreat proposition and unique culture has proved particularly resilient during the past 18 months and has shown us how important it is for people to have a safe place to visit and share their interests with friends as part of a community.”

All stores commit to a COVID-19 secure environment, and commit to continuing social distancing and hygiene measures in place, to give customers extra piece of mind that they can visit in confidence. To find your nearest store or shop online, visit

Love Bedford as much as we do?

Sign-up to receive the occasional email from us about local news, offers, shopping and events! You can unsubscribe at any time.

* indicates required

BedfordBID (Business Improvement District) will never share the information you provide on this form. Confirm that you'd like to hear from us via:

Love Bedford Facebook & Instagram!