Jeweller announces £500,000 Derry spend
LONDONDERRY jeweller Sproules has announced a £500,000 investment including the addition of two Champagne bars for browsing jewellery.
The announcement was among other good news for retail in Northern Ireland, including healthy Black Friday footfall and the unveiling of a walkway in Belfast to give pedestrian access to Royal Avenue following the Primark fire.
Also in Belfast, Sports Direct has announced a new store in Connswater Shopping Centre and Retail Park.
The opening comes after its owner Mike Ashley gave evidence to a House of Commons committee and hinted at a possible tie-in between House of Fraser, which he now owns, and Debenhams, in which Sports Direct has a share.
He also said the government should tax online retailers to generate funds for the high street.
In Derry, Sproules has added a 2,500 sq ft extension which also includes a wedding ring boutique, an extended additional jewellery showroom and watchmaker and goldsmith workshops specialising in repairs.
Staff numbers have also increased from eight to 11 as part of the investment, which is backed by First Trust.
Sproules first opened on John Street in the city in 1954 and later moved to its current location on Carlisle Road. First Trust business manager Jennifer Doherty said it was “delighted” to fund the expansion.
News of Sproules’ expansion comes as figures from analyst Springboard show that NI high streets enjoyed a 6.6% jump in footfall during the week of Black Friday, compared to last year.