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Ulster Stores' £4m facelift kicks off with De Gruchy

Department store group Ulster Stores, which owns De Gruchy in Jersey and Moores of Coleraine in Northern Ireland, is revamping the clothing offer in its stores as part of a £4 million refurbishment.

De Gruchy's menswear concession Pierre Toni will double to 7,000sq ft next spring. The store will add Hugo Boss, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger to its brand line-up, which includes Louis Feraud, Roy Robson and Cerutti. The gifts section will be cut back to make extra space.

Ulster Stores managing director Neville Moore said: "The shop needed some attention. De Gruchy is the Selfridges of the island and can become more inter-esting without losing sight of where we've come from."

The menswear concession will continue to be run by Jersey-based retailer the Collections Group, which runs six Axle stores, a French Connection franchise shop and a Robert Ashworth.

Collections Group managing director Richard Clews said: "The store has always had a more classic and mature customer base. Now we're looking to move the business into a new, younger age group as well."

Clews declined to provide turnover figures for the concession, but said he was aiming for sales of £4 million in the medium term.

The first phase of the refit, designed by architect JSA, will start this summer, when the accessories area is moved into the store's restored arcade.

At the group's Moores of Coleraine store, own-bought labels Sticky Fingers and Fenn Wright Manson will be added to the offer for autumn. Womenswear label Bandolera was introduced this spring, marking the brand's first UK concession.

The additions follow Ulster Stores' decision to move all buying functions in house. Classic womenswear was previously bought by buying group AIS.

Ulster Stores merchan-dising manager Jenny Clarke said: "We still have the Alexon and Eastex brands that appeal to our core 45-plus customers, but we want to attract 35- to 45-year-old shoppers too."

Moore's will also drop the AIS label First Avenue in the autumn. This will free up 1,500sq ft of space for new brands and concessions.


- Moores of Coleraine, Northern Ireland

- De Gruchy, Jersey

- The White House, Portrush, NI

- Clares, Llandudno, Wales

- Three Captain Cooks homewares shops in Portadown, Ballymena and Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

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