Hat-trick of stores for shopping centre

When Colin Robinson was called upon to serve as relief manager of a men’s outfitter’s in Wrexham as a teenager he little dreamt that over 30 years later he would be opening his own shop in the town – selling women’s clothes.

But now, aged 50, he has become the latest tenant of a unit in the town’s Eagles Meadow centre, and is excited by the prospect.

The Caran d’Ache shop has opened its doors, and Colin and his partner Lisa Moxham who live in Kelsall, are determined to offer the same service as that which has helped establish their reputation at their three other premises in Birkenhead and Tarporley.

Eagles Meadow Manager Kevin Critchley was delighted to welcome another fashion store to the bustling shopping centre.

He said: “Caran D’Ache is the third new arrival at Eagles Meadow this year – on top of the seven new stores that opened here in 2011.

“We now have a burgeoning critical mass of fashion specialists in Wrexham which makes us the perfect destination for fashionistas of all ages and underlines our credentials as the shopping capital of North Wales.”

Originally from Connah’s Quay, Colin started work at the Harry Fenton men’s outfitters in Wrexham and was even relief manager for a short while at the age of 17.

In 1982 he eventually opened his own Caran d’Ache men’s shop in the Grange Precinct in Birkenhead and this October it celebrates its 30th anniversary there.

Ten years ago he opened his first women’s shop in Tarporley and three years later the business expanded when he opened a second shop nearby in the same village.

He and Lisa made a deliberate decision to switch the shops’ focus from teenagers and women in their early 20s to “Yummy Mummies”.

“They want more comfortable, good quality clothes, and we pride ourselves on the service and advice we provide, which we shall continue in the Wrexham shop,” said Lisa.

“There are not many independent boutiques around these days and we are confident we provide a shopping experience which our customers appreciate. We are also confident in our stock.”

They took the step to open in Wrexham because a growing number of their Tarporley customers came from North Wales.

“They kept telling us there was nothing comparable in the area, so we started looking for premises and it’s a good time to come here because there’s a real buzz about the town at the moment,” said Colin.

“We started looking for somewhere about six months ago but decided not to go into the town centre,” he said.

“This unit in Eagles Meadow is ideal. It’s the right size and, being the first one people see after coming over the footbridge from the town, is in a brilliant location. It’s also useful being right opposite Starbucks where so many women pop in for coffee.”

The three jobs created in Wrexham, which takes their total workforce to 12, were not advertised but the staff were recruited by word of mouth.

Having announced the opening date for the new premises, however, left Colin chasing a deadline, with only six days to refit the unit.

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