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Up to 40 new jobs unveiled as fashion retailer locates in city

A new fashion retailer opens in Belfast city centre today, with the creation of nearly 40 new jobs.

BANK Fashion's Victoria Square shop is its first in Ireland.

The retailer, which is owned by JD Sports, sells sought-after brands including Paul's Boutique, Lipsy, Rare, Adidas and Jack and Jones.

Northern Ireland electrical and mechanical company SPE Contracts worked on fitting out the new 8,000 sq ft store.

That company recently announced a turnover of £2.3m for the first quarter of 2011 - more than its turnover for the whole year of 2010.

Damien Smith, director of SPE Contracts, said: "We've worked on other BANK Fashion and JD Sports projects in England, Scotland and Wales, but it's great being involved in the first BANK Fashion store to open in Ireland."

He said the firm's results for the year so far reflected the company's proliferation of business in the retail sector.

"We have a very strong portfolio of work in this area, which accounts for approximately 60% of our revenue.

"This means we are not as reliant on the commercial or industrial sectors as some other construction companies."

JD Sports also owns footwear chain Size?, French sports shop Chausport and fashion sport chain Scotts.

But JD Sports recently abandoned its plans for a takeover of struggling rival JJB, claiming it had failed to provide the information that was necessary for a merger.