New lingerie business opens in Shrewsbury’s former La Senza shop

A brand new ladies lingerie business has opened in Shrewsbury’s busy Darwin Shopping Centre – in the shop once occupied by La Senza.

The new store, My Lovely, has brought four new full-time jobs to the Centre along with two part-time posts and is the first of a planned chain of shops.

It has been opened by Julie Turner and her 16-year-old daughter, Victoria, of the Shrewsbury-based family firm Turner’s Furniture.

They spotted a gap in the market and Victoria is looking to replicate the success of her father Alan’s rapidly-expanding furniture business and believes My Lovely could create over 20 jobs this year.

They plan to open another four stores before Christmas, in Telford, Chester, Wrexham and the Arndale Centre in Manchester.

Julie Turner said: “The ethos of My Lovely is to sell quality branded lingerie together with a selection of swimwear and perfumes at fair prices. It is a visually stunning shop, in a wonderful location.

“We intend to stock top brands such as Charnos, Lepel, Berlei, Pleasure State Gossard and the famous Wonderbra who have been wonderfully supportive – forgive the pun.”

Victoria, who is studying Modern Foreign Languages at Shrewsbury High School for Girls, added: “My aim is ultimately to design and produce my own range of lingerie, but for now I am focused on this flagship store and learning the retail trade from the ground up – it does help that I can call on my dad’s vast retail experience though.”

Taking charge of the Darwin Centre store is Wendy Smith, from Mount Pleasant, in Shrewsbury, who has moved over from Turner’s Furniture with over 20 years experience in retail.

She said: “This is a lovely shop and I’m really enjoying it. We’ve got a good team here and we’re already into a training programme with the top manufacturers and will be offering a drop-in fitting service.”

Julie Turner added: “Our unique selling point is our personal service and that’s why we are investing heavily in training.

“A bra-fitting is an intimate experience and we want to be able to take the time to make sure that our customer leaves the shop with a product that fits correctly and is right for the occasion she needs it for.

“We can offer a postal service so when a customer who already buys a particular bra needs it in the new season’s colour we can send it out without them having to return to the store.”

Kevin Lockwood, Manager of the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres, said: “It makes sense because they have well-qualified, experienced staff and the reason La Senza closed was down to problems with the company nationally rather than a lack of viability here in Shrewsbury.

“My Lovely can pick up where they left off and of course there is the opportunity for expansion because the staff and the premises already exist in other towns and cities.”

Among the new staff at the Darwin Centre is Abi Taylor, 23, also from Mount Pleasant, who said: “I think the concept of My Lovely is really good and the quality of merchandise is fabulous.

“I have just been made redundant from my previous job and so I am really pleased that I’ve been given the chance to continue my career in retail. I am determined to help make My Lovely a success here in the Darwin Centre.”

 

New store at Pride Hill shopping centre in Shrewsbury, My Lovely with manager Wendy Smith and staff Kassie Coxon, left, and Abi Taylor.

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Michael Michael

Severn Magazine and Love Shrewsbury Editor.

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