Fenwick’s store in Colchester will open its doors in two weeks following a £35 million redevelopment.
The department store on the High Street of the Essex town will celebrate the launch with a special event on the opening day of Thursday September 15, followed by activities, offers, demonstrations and entertainment throughout the weekend.
Celebrity chef and restaurateur Raymond Blanc will be holding a live cooking demonstration on Friday September 16. It will take place at 1pm in the Homeware Department on the second floor of the department store. Later in the afternoon, there will be a chance to purchase his cookery books and have them signed.
Billed as the largest department store redevelopment taking place outside central London, Fenwick Colchester (previously known as Williams & Griffin) will add 70 new brands to the store, 20 of which are new to Colchester, including names such as Michael Kors, Paul Smith and Bobbi Brown.
The additions will take the brand total to over 600, with the store growing by 50% to 120,000sq ft to become the largest department store in the region.
The redevelopment will see 75% of the shopping space taken by fashion, beauty and accessories brands, including a new Beauty Hall of over 10,000sq ft, which will feature a beauty lounge offering skin treatments by Dermalogica, and brow and nail bar Glow. Beauty brand MAC Cosmetics will over double its number of customer stations for free consultations.
Fenwick Colchester will also feature the largest number of menswear brands under one roof in the region, comprising 64 brands across fashion, accessories and formalwear, of which 18 are new to store.
Womenswear will also see an increase of 15 brands including Eileen Fisher, Joseph Ribkoff and AG Jeans. Visitors will have the opportunity to shop these brands under the guidance of a new Personal Shopping service.
The new shopping environment will be bright and airy with more natural daylight built around a large central atrium with up and down escalators to every floor, plus a 50 metre triple-height frontage featuring two interactive digital billboards showcasing the store’s latest collections and brand content.
Family-owned business Fenwick is a store group with a reputation for distinctiveness. Each store is unique in size and content and responsible for its own recruitment. The 11-strong group comprises branches in Bond Street, Bracknell, Brent Cross, Canterbury, Kingston, Leicester, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells, Windsor and York as well as Colchester, which was acquired from Williams & Griffin in 2008.
The redevelopment marks a milestone in Fenwick’s commitment to re-establish Colchester as a major retail and leisure destination, alongside its antiquity and stature as Britain’s oldest recorded town.
Fenwick chairman Mark Fenwick commented: “The heart of Colchester’s High Street is a fitting location for our eleventh store. Together with its inspiring design and architecture, Fenwick Colchester reflects the full strength of our branded offer across fashion, beauty and accessories, alongside home and furnishings.
“Combining Colchester’s heritage with the needs of the 21st century shopper, we’re delighted by our new store which we believe will help reassert the centre of Colchester as the pre-eminent shopping destination in the region.’’
Carl Milton, managing director of Fenwick Colchester, added: “We’re really excited about the completion of this two and a half year redevelopment and the launch of Fenwick Colchester this month.
“This major redevelopment will be a great boost for the town, not only in its creation of 70 new jobs for the area, but also in providing Colchester with a more diverse shopping experience through greater choice.”