A queue of 250 eager shoppers greeted the opening of fashion store Outfit at Beverley’s Flemingate centre.
Outfit managers said the numbers waiting to enter were more than double those seen at any opening of the company’s stores across the UK over the past two years.
Outfit now has more than 70 stores UK-wide, with ten opened within the past 12 months, and brings a host of the high street’s top womenswear and menswear brands to the fast-growing shopping and leisure destination.
The first 50 customers at the Flemingate store received a £10 complimentary gift card, while shoppers enjoyed a host of activities including in-store DJs and a free Topshop nail bar and hair stylist.
Graham Tait, Flemingate Centre manager, said: “Outfit’s opening has created a tremendous buzz at Flemingate and it was great to see so many people arriving early to be among the first to experience the store.
“The store looks great and shoppers really love it. We’re sure it will be a great success for Outfit and also benefit all of our other great retailers, restaurants and cafés by driving footfall to the centre and trade to Beverley as a whole.
“The arrival of Outfit is a major milestone in Flemingate’s ongoing development as it brings a host of leading high street fashion brands to the centre, including Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Miss Selfridge and Burton, to complement Debenhams, River Island, H&M, Peacocks and Bolo. Flemingate really has become a magnet for followers of fashion.”
Suzanne Moore, Outfit project manager, said: “Flemingate is a quite unusual and very interesting environment for us to trade in, as it has a high street feel. The reaction to our opening is very encouraging indeed.
“We’ve not seen queues like this at any of our openings over the past two years. I would estimate there were more than twice as many people waiting to come in as we have seen at any of our other new stores in that time.”
The store is managed by Sarah Walker, who has lived in Beverley all her life. She said: “This is my first time running my own store and it’s really exciting to open in my home town.
“We’ve got a fantastic team and have had a brilliant reception from customers. We’re all looking forward to making this a fantastic success.”
The 13,300 sq ft Outfit store brings together leading brands from high street giant Arcadia under one roof and is the third largest store to open at Flemingate, after anchor department store Debenhams and fashion brand H&M. The opening has created 25 new jobs.
It will be followed by the opening on October 14 of a new Superdrug store at Flemingate. The 4,000 sq ft store is in addition to the company’s existing unit in Toll Gavel, Beverley.
Outfit and Superdrug join River Island, Peacocks and Baytree Interiors, all of which have opened at Flemingate in the past few weeks, totalling 37,000 sq ft of new retail lettings. In addition Gourmet Burger Kitchen has opened a 3,700 sq ft site alongside a 3,650 sq ft debut restaurant for local independent brand, Riva Lounge, with coffee house brand leader Starbucks due to open at Flemingate on October 27.
Mr Tait added: “We’ve got great momentum behind Flemingate as we come up to the first anniversary of the centre opening in early November.
“The latest openings could not come at a better time as we gear up for the festive shopping period when Flemingate’s great combination of leading national and independent local retailers and restaurants will play a leading part in making Beverley the place to be this Christmas.”
The £120m Flemingate development is Beverley’s largest ever regeneration scheme and has had a hugely beneficial impact. In addition to many leading national retailers that could not previously be accommodated in Beverley, Flemingate has brought much-needed new facilities to the town, including a 70,000 sq ft college campus, 80-bed Premier Inn, six-screen independent cinema, 500 parking spaces and 130 homes.
David Donkin, property director of Hull-based regeneration company Wykeland Group, developer and owner of Flemingate, said: “The openings of Outfit with its host of fashion brands and health and beauty retailer Superdrug provide yet more reasons for shoppers to visit Flemingate and experience all the centre has to offer.
“We’re delighted to welcome more of Britain’s biggest high street brands to Flemingate, adding further variety and choice to Beverley’s appeal as a retail and leisure destination.”
Ian Jones, Retail operations director at Outfit, added: “We are thrilled to open this new store at the heart of Beverley and introduce shoppers to the Outfit concept. Flemingate has continued to grow, creating a diverse and exciting offer to drive footfall. We look forward to introducing people to our multi-brand offer in the run up to Christmas.”