Fashion shop set for flagship unit

Andrew Stringer the General Manager of St. George's Shopping Centre, Preston
Andrew Stringer the General Manager of St. George's Shopping Centre, Preston
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High Street fashion chain River Island is set to fill a mall front shop in Preston’s St George’s Centre.

The clothing store will move into the vacant units which used to be occupied by Dorothy Perkins and Next, in a relocation from their current branch on Fishergate.

The two units are being renovated and sandwiched together to form one large 10,000sq ft shop in a prime position at a main entrance of the centre.

Bosses at River Island had been in talks with the shopping centre’s owners over the past year to secure the new flagship unit, which has been empty for 10 months.

Andrew Stringer, general manager of St George’s, said: “The move is fantastic news for St Georges and for Preston as another prime retailer commits its long term-future in the city centre.

“River Island is an exceptional addition to our tenant line-up which further strengthens our position as Preston’s leading shopping centre.

“It’s taken a long time to conclude but we are delighted to announce that construction work is to commence shortly, ready for the handover to River Island.”

River Island, which has been in its current spot by Thornton’s since 1996, also has a branch at Deepdale Retail Park.

It will remain open on Fishergate until the refurbishment work is complete on the new store which is expected to launch in the autumn, with popstar Rihanna collaborating on a new clothing range in the chain’s 300 stores.

A River Island spokesman said: “We are thrilled to have secured this prime retail space.

“St George’s has a strong retail position and is the perfect location for our new-look store which we are sure will attract thousands of shoppers.”

The move comes after plus-size fashion chain Yours took up the lease on the former Wallis unit in the St George’s Centre in November.