Family-run fashion store announces it's expansion plan
One of Ballymena's best-known independent traders is expanding after buying a vacant pound shop. Fashion and footwear business Wallace's has snapped up a former Poundstretcher on Wellington Street for the development.
Wallace's was set up in 1948 and is now being run by the third generation of the family.
The new store on Wellington Street is close to retail destination Tower Centre, which is also being renovated by new owner Sam Morrison.
According to the Ballymena Guardian newspaper, the first phase of the new Wallace's store will feature menswear and footwear on the ground floor, ladieswear on the first floor and schoolwear on the second floor.
The expansion is good news for retail industry in the town, after bookseller Easons confirmed the closure of its shop in Fairhill Shopping Centre.
The Irish company pulled down the shutters last month after more than 30 years in business in the Co Antrim town.
Jonathan Wallace told the Ballymena Guardian that the new-look Wallace's store would bring a fresh shopping experience to the town.
Last year Ballymena shopping tycoon Sam Morrison - the former owner of Fairhill Shopping Centre - emerged as the buyer of the Tower Centre. He has said that he will return the centre to its former glory by investing in the layout and shopping experience.
Mr Morrison said: "It's our intention that a new and improved Tower Centre will add to Ballymena's reputation as a vibrant shopping destination with impressive centres, retail and leisure parks which will include a mix of independent and also multi-national retailers."
Last month, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council released figures showing that footfall in the town in December was up 8.1% compared to the same month a year earlier.