Friday, October 28, 2011

News: Greenwoods Menswear returning to Rotherham town centre


National retailer, Greenwoods Menswear, is returning to Rotherham town centre, taking over a unit in College Street.

The Bradford-based company operates over 80 stores nationwide and specialises in men's formalwear and smart casual clothing whilst also developing the 1860 Brand, a hire wear specialist of wedding, evening and Highland wear suits. The company is also primed to expand its niche brand "Mansize" which caters for the larger man, whilst still retaining high quality styling and fabrics.

Having previously had an outlet on the High Street, work is currently taking place to renovate the former Music Zone unit on College Street and Greenwoods are looking to be operational in time for Christmas. The council supported the move with a capital fit-out grant for the works.

Neil Roberts, chief operating officer at Greenwoods, said: "We are looking forward to coming back to Rotherham and opening our new store. We have a loyal following in the Rotherham area, and the town fits well with our customer profile.

"We're also seeing a trend for people returning to shopping locally, particularly as fuel costs rise and travel to out-of-town shopping centres become less attractive."

Greenwoods celebrated its 150th anniversary last year having opened its first shop in 1860 in Bradford selling hats to the wool barons of Yorkshire. The business expanded throughout the 1900's and war years, under the stewardship of members of the Greenwood family, and at its peak Greenwoods had 261 shops throughout the country.

The company was hit by the changes in people's shopping habits and recently, the economic downturn. In 2009, administrators sold the business to Harvest Fancy Hong Kong Ltd, a subsidiary of one of China's largest clothing retailers. Greenwoods new parent company, Pacific Trend Investment embarked on a significant financial support and investment programme and the brand continues to grow.

Greenwoods is the latest national retailer to open in Rotherham alongside new independent shops supported by the town's innovative grants scheme. Rotherham Council has recently released vacancy rates for town centre shops on the primary shopping streets which currently stands at 14.4% - down 3.4% on July 2009.

A recent national survey also found that footfall for Rotherham town centre in September 2011 rose by 32.3% compared to the same month last year.

Councillor Gerald Smith, cabinet member for Town Centres, Economic Growth and Prosperity, said: "These figures reflect the positive changes that have been made in the town centre to help traders fight back in these challenging economic circumstances.

"Rotherham has to offer something different to shoppers and an environment they find welcoming. To do that we have encouraged small business growth, found innovative ways to help local traders and invested in the infrastructure.

"The benefits of that are now being seen although, of course, there is still a way to go. With thousands of shoppers showing their commitment to Rotherham we are confident the town centre will continue to develop."

Greenwoods Menswear website
Rotherham town centre website



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