Belfast Telegraph

Zara's sister brand Stradivarius to make its bow on Belfast high street

By John Mulgrew

The sister brand of Spanish fashion retail success story Zara is setting up in Northern Ireland for the first time.

Stradivarius, which is owned by the Inditex group, is to open a store at Donegall Place in Belfast city centre, according to a commercial property report from CBRE.

The label, which is aimed at women aged between 20 and 35, was established in 1994. It arrived in the UK last year.

With items such as T-shirts starting at under £5, it's likely to draw much interest from the city's burgeoning student population.

A spokesman for Stradivarius did not wish to comment. The launch comes after fans of the Zara brand were left disappointed for months when it shut for renovations in January.

However, the city centre store reopened just in time for the busy summer season.

Zara's popularity among celebrities and the public has turned it into one of fashion's leading brands.

Parent company Inditex, the world's largest fashion retailing group, saw its net profits climb 26% to €1.16bn (£847m) in the first half of the year compared to the same period 12 months ago.

Like-for-like sales grew by 7% in the 88 countries the company operates in.

The Spanish company said that the refurbishment of key Zara stores in London, Hamburg and Mexico City, as well as the Belfast branch, were among a number of upgrades it had made at what it considers to be "highly strategic locations".

This summer US clothing giant Gap opened a new flagship outlet in Belfast.

It moved from its former home in nearby CastleCourt to Donegall Place.

Belfast Telegraph