Williams & Griffin in Colchester has undergone a major £35 million redevelopment to be transformed into the new Fenwick Colchester store.

The largest renovation of a department store outside of London, the new store will bring in 70 new brands to complement the current extensive mix.

Reopening on Thursday 15th September, Michael Kors, Paul Smith and Bobbi Brown will now be amongst the 600 brands now housed in 120,000 sq ft of the store. The substantial redevelopment will see 75% of the shopping space taken by fashion, beauty and accessories brands, including a major new Beauty Hall of over 10,000 sq ft, which will feature an exclusive beauty lounge offering skin treatments by Dermalogica, and brow and nail bar, Glow. Popular beauty brand, MAC Cosmetics, will over double its number of customer stations for free consultations.

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‘We are really excited about the completion of this two and a half year redevelopment, and the launch of Fenwick Colchester this September,’ explains Carl Milton, Managing Director of Fenwick Colchester, ‘This major redevelopment will be a great boost for the town, not only in its creation of 70 new jobs for the area, but also in providing Colchester with a more diverse shopping experience through greater choice.’

Set to be a major shopping destination not just for women, but also for men, there will be 64 menswear brands across fashion, accessories and formalwear – the largest number under one roof in the region. Womenswear will see an increase of 15 brands including Eileen Fisher, Joseph Ribkoff and AG Jeans. With a personal shopping service available, looking for your new season wardrobe will be a joy.

Remaining sympathetic to the original heritage of the Williams & Griffin store, the 40,000 sq ft extension adds an element of contemporary design. The redevelopment has also helped to preserve and restore the 15th Century former merchant’s house and will ensure the store continues to stand for many years to come.

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The extensive 50-metre frontage along Colchester High Street will continue to be a striking blend of old and new with a triple-height frontage above the new Beauty Hall with two prominent interactive digital billboards to entice shoppers.

The Art Deco building that is home to Caffé Nero has been carefully restored including a replica of the original ‘Café’ sign on the frontage, a link to Jacklins, the much-loved post-war café on the same site.

Family-owned Fenwick acquired Williams & Griffin in 2008, and the redevelopment marks an important milestone in Fenwick’s longstanding commitment to the re-establishment of of Colchester as a major retail and leisure destination alongside its antiquity and stature as Britain’s oldest town.

‘The heart of Colchester’s High Street is a fitting location for our eleventh store. Together with its inspiring design and architecture, Fenwick Colchester reflects the full strength of our branded offer across fashion, beauty and accessories alongside home and furnishings,’ said Mark Fenwick, Chairman of Fenwick, ‘Combining Colchester’s heritage with the needs of the 21st century shopper, we are delighted by our new store and welcome new colleagues to the business. We very much hope you will enjoy the shopping experience which we believe will help reassert the centre of Colchester as the pre-eminent shopping destination in the region.’

The Launch Event for the new store will be held on Thursday 15th September, followed by a series of exclusive activities, offers, demonstrations and entertainment throughout the weekend and will be well worth a quick trip up the A12 to visit.

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