Belfast Telegraph

Moss Bros says it will bring sharp tailoring to streets of Belfast

By Margaret Canning

Suit and menswear retailer Moss Bros is opening its first store in Belfast with the creation of nine new jobs.

The UK plc opens on Castle Lane in Belfast next month.

It already has a store in the Rushmere Centre in Craigavon.

The Essex-based firm has been in business for 165 years.

The company said: "Our previous stores in Northern Ireland have all outperformed expectations and we know that there's a real appetite among guys in Belfast for tailored suiting."

Belfast store manager Gordon Thomson added: "We hope to help the city's guys sharpen up their suiting through personalised options like the Tailor Me made-to-measure personalisation service."

The new Moss Bros will be next to a new store from Stradivarius, a sister brand of Spanish fashion giant Zara.

And a spokesman said its stock would be "specifically selected" for the Belfast market. As well as the company's own tailoring lines, it will sell labels such as Ted Baker, DKNY and French Connection, and include a hire department.

He added that the company had investigated a number of potential sites in central Belfast "and selected Castle Lane as the best balance of footfall location, in-store architecture and retail potential".

And the Moss Bros spokesman denied that Brexit - and ensuing fears about its detrimental effects on consumer confidence - had made the company think twice about opening in Belfast.

"Not at all - we've had an excellent year so far and we're enormously excited about opening a Belfast store," he said.

In its accounts for the year to April 2016, the company announced group like for like sales of £119m, including Vat - an increase of 8.2%. Its hire business accounts for around 14% of sales.

Underlying profit before tax was up 23.1% at £5.9m.

The company has come to dominate the high street men's suits market in Great Britain. Rival Austin Reed, which also owned Viyella and Country Casuals, is in administration.

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