Quiz store answers fashion questions

A fast-growing international fashion retail group has moved into Swansea.

The women’s fashion group Quiz, which has 160 outlets world-wide, has opened its second store in Wales at the city’s bustling Quadrant shopping centre.

Seven news jobs have been be created – and there could be more on the way.

Cardiff-born new manager Helen Russell leads the new team, bringing with her a lifetime of retail experience.

From her £1.50 “for a whole day” managing a fruit and veg’ stall at Cardiff’s covered market when she was 16, Helen’s last job was managing a flagship department store in Bangor Northern Ireland which had an annual turn-over of between £9m-£10m and employed around 200 staff.

“Quiz is a large company with stores throughout the UK and its head office is based in Scotland where the business started. It has many stores abroad too. Until now it had just the one store in Wales, in St David’s Cardiff, which opened about two years ago.

“It is a family-owned business which has expanded rapidly, especially through concessions in stores such as Debenhams. The aim of the company is to offer catwalk fashion very much at high street prices,” said Helen.

Helen’s career in retail involved many moves. She joined the training scheme at Littlewoods and became a store manager but then moved to her parents home country, Northern Ireland, where she joined a family owned department store, Menarys (corr), managing their flagship store in Bangor.

Helen, 53, also decided to try a couple of years living the good life in Spain. She and husband Robert have five children between them and decided when they had flown the nest they would find their place in the sun.

“I thought I would retire early and try the easy life and put my feet up for a while. The inactivity was too much. After going from the demands of the retail sector it was a case of all or nothing and I decided I was too young to retire.”

During a visit to her brother in Bridgend, Helen thought she would like to be back in the UK and Bridgend is where she and Robert have set up home.

Quiz area manager Sharifa Patel has been with the company 11 years and witnessed its incredible expansion.

Founded in 1995 with three stores in Scotland, its business model proved extremely successful and more stores opened year on year.

Quiz has now grown to include 115 stores and concessions in most of the major shopping centres and high streets across the UK. With 51 franchises in Europe and Asia the Quiz brand has also grown worldwide.

The company employs more than 700 members of staff in the UK alone. The very comprehensive online store was launched in 2005.

Sharifa said; “The company is highly competitive and offers very good value for money, with customer service very important.

“We have a very strong casual section, ‘clubby’ dresses for the girlie nights out and then we have glamorous evening wear with maxi dresses. We provide dresses for cruises, Christenings, we have something which would appeal to all ages from 14-60 year olds.

“After the great success of the Cardiff store, which is a very strong performer, I have high hopes for Swansea, it’s definitely the type of store Swansea wants.”

Ian Kirkpatrick, the Manager of the Quadrant shopping centre, was delighted by the arrival of Quiz.

He said: “Quiz is a successful, fast-growing fashion brand and their new store is a welcome addition to the excellent retail mix we  have at the Quadrant.”

For more information on Quiz please visit  http://www.quizclothing.co.uk/

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