A fashion store has moved to bigger premises in Huddersfield.
Clothing, footwear and accessories store USC has closed its Kingsgate store to move to the Piazza Shopping Centre and is recruiting for more staff.
The move is seen as a coup for the Piazza – and brings a long-term tenant to the 11,000sq ft unit, which has had only a series of temporary traders since Marks & Spencer moved out in August, 2012.
Vernon O’Reilly, centre manager at the Piazza, said: “USC have made an executive decision that Kingsgate was not viable for them and decided to look at us. They felt a decision to move over here would be the best option.”
USC now occupies the third-biggest unit at the Piazza after the BHS and Boots stores.
USC, which is part of the Sports Direct retail empire, closed its Kingsgate store on Sunday and moved its stock over to the Piazza store early this morning.
The move follows a two-week fit-out of the former M&S store including installing new flooring, walls and display fixtures.
Mr O’Reilly said: “We have been looking for a long-term tenant to come in ever since M&S decided to concentrate everything in its New Street store.
TAKE a look at the new Bodyshop store in Kingsgate below
“We have had temporary traders in there – the last one being a furniture and bed store – but we have been trying to get one that can work long-term.”
He said USC had been one of two retailers expressing interested in the unit, but added: “We felt USC was the stronger retailer for us.”
Mr O’Reilly said it was pleasing that USC wanted to stay in Huddersfield and that its presence on the Piazza could act as a magnet to attract other traders. USC is now advertising for casual staff to supplement its regular team.
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The arrival of USC comes just a month after the collapse of BHS, which has cast a shadow over the future of its Huddersfield store. The store, which employs 60 people, continues to tade while adnministrators seek a buyer for the business.
USC is the second retailer to quit Kingsgate in recent weeks after Dixon’s Carphone closed its Currys Digital to consolidate its Huddersfield business at the Currys PC World store at Great Northern Street Retail Park.
Kingsgate centre manager Jonathan Hardy said the double unit which had been occupied by USC was being altered to create two single units – one of which was set to be taken by a nationally-known retailer new to Huddersfield in the middle of June.
London-based USC bills itself as “a premier destination for branded clothing, footwear and accessories” appealing to “dedicated fashion followers and trend alert men and women throughout the UK”. Brands on offer include G Star, Diesel, Firetrap, Vero Moda and Lacoste.
The chain has more than 50 outlets including flasgship stores in Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Liverpool and ones at the White Rose Centre at Leeds, Sheffield’s Meadowhall and Doncaster’s Frenchgate Centre. It’s website, launched in 2008, has more than 13,000 products online.