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House of Fraser in £5m revamp ahead of Christmas rush

By Margaret Canning

Published 06/10/2016

House of Fraser Belfast is undergoing its first significant refurbishment since the store opened in 2008
House of Fraser Belfast is undergoing its first significant refurbishment since the store opened in 2008

Make-up brand Charlotte Tilbury has opened its first counter in Northern Ireland as part of a £5m revamp of House of Fraser in Belfast.

The department store chain said it will keep the premises at Victoria Square Shopping Centre open during the refurbishment.

It's due to finish early next month - well in time for Christmas trading, when the group makes around 85% of its profits. It's the first major refurbishment at House of Fraser in Belfast since it opened in 2008.

There will be a major refit of the ground floor, which the company said would use space more effectively so that more brands could open at the store - the anchor retailer at Victoria Square.

News of fresh brands comes after a report from retail consultant Javelin, commissioned by Belfast City Council, claimed the city needs new labels to keep attracting high-spending shoppers.

Cult company Charlotte Tilbury, named after the make-up artist, is the first new brand at House of Fraser.

Chanel is also to open a new boutique selling what House of Fraser said were "exclusive fragrances".

And it's revamping its Jo Malone boutique, and adding beauty brands such as NARS and Urban Decay, which are already available in rivals such as Debenhams and Space NK.

Stephen Mewha, store manager at House of Fraser Victoria Square, said: "House of Fraser Belfast is undergoing its first significant refurbishment since the store opened in 2008.

"We're investing £5m to enable us to make improvements which will further reaffirm our position as Belfast's only premium department store.

"We have listened to customer feedback and introduced new luxury brands and created a modern shopping retail environment which will provide our customers with more choice and access to luxury and niche brands.

"We are confident they will love the new look and feel of the store."

Last week House of Fraser revealed that toy chain Hamleys was making a comeback to six of its stores - but a spokeswoman said Belfast was not included in its plans.

Hamleys ran a concession at the top floor of House of Fraser in Belfast for one year after the centre's opening but closed it along with others around the UK.

Belfast Telegraph

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