Belfast Telegraph

Irish first as fashion retailers Simply Be and Jacamo set up in Belfast's CastleCourt

By Lesley Houston

Fashion retailers Simply Be and Jacamo have confirmed plans to launch their first store in Ireland, after agreeing to take up residence at Belfast's CastleCourt shopping centre.

The new store, which was previously occupied by UK fashion retailer Republic and originally Virgin, is scheduled to open in August.

The two brands will share 8,000 sq ft store over two levels on the prominent corner of Royal Avenue and Berry Street, Belfast. The letting is another boost to the local retail market following the introduction of a number of leading brands into Belfast city centre including Bravissimo, Pepperberry and Joules.

It is also said to mark Hermes' "commitment to securing strong brands and diversifying their retail offering to meet the needs of their customers".

Simply Be, which started out as a website and catalogue-based retailer, is aimed at women aged 30-45. Jacamo serves men in the same age range.

The letting was negotiated by property firm CBRE, with Simply Be and Jacamo being represented by the London office of Colliers International.

Alana Coyle, head of retail at CBRE, which manages 12 shopping centres in Ireland totalling 3.5 million sq ft, said the new letting "showed confidence in the local retail market".

"This is a great boost for the Northern Ireland retail scene and we welcome Simply Be and Jacamo to our expanding portfolio of retailers.

"CastleCourt has enjoyed strong footfall despite difficult market conditions and we believe this is due to our work to continually invest and adapt our offering quality and variety that reflects the demands of our customers."

Parent company, Manchester fashion retailer JD Williams Group, announced ambitious expansion plans to grow their presence in national high streets, shopping centres and fashion park locations throughout the UK.

This summer will also see the opening of Simply Be and Jacamo's flagship Oxford Street store, along with a further five stores across the UK, adding to their existing portfolio of nine successful outlets.

Alana added that CastleCourt was one of the UK's most intensively-shopped malls, with high footfall and sales densities.

Belfast Telegraph