Belfast Telegraph

Joules is latest fashion retailer to put down roots in city centre

By Lesley Houston

Casual clothing label Joules has acquired their first Northern Ireland store in Belfast city centre.

The new Belfast branch is expected to be open at 5 Arthur Street by June, adding to the chain's 75-plus stores.

The high-end retailer joins a number of other exclusive fashion and lifestyle retailers in the shopping precinct, including Jigsaw, Avoca, Cath Kidston and Jack Wills.

The premises which Joules is moving into is owned by property company, Alterity Investments Limited, which is part of Northern Ireland property developers, Deramore Property Group.

The unit was formally occupied by Britannia Building Society and follows another high profile letting by Alterity in recent weeks, when women's fashion houses Bravissimo and Pepperberry moved into premises on Royal Avenue, marking another first-time presence in Northern Ireland.

Alterity has a number of other interests throughout Belfast city centre, and also has property holdings throughout Great Britain.

Joules was founded in 1989 and recently benefited from a £22m investment from a private equity firm in late 2013 to assist Joules' expansion to a further 16 new stores in 2014, which includes the new Belfast unit.

Brian Kidd of Frazer Kidd & Partners, who acted as letting agent, said: "This is a further indication of the improving strength of Arthur Street, which is now proving to be one of Belfast's prime retailing destinations.

"The fact that we were able to conclude a letting off-market within a short time of Britannia Building Society vacating the premises we believe is a vote of confidence in Belfast city centre," he said.

Frazer Kidd & Partners also secured the letting to Bravissimo.

Joules styles itself as country-inspired and, like Cath Kidston, is part of a growing retail market emphasising heritage in the sale of fashion classics, kitsch gifts and garden wares.

Its Twitter tag line reads: "Established in the fields of Great Britain."

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