Business

Fashion store Rio & Brazil adds 14 jobs with new Victoria Square outlet

Pictured outside the new Rio & Brazil unit in Victoria Square are owners Steven and Jeane Simpson with (left) Gary Martin, associate director of retail agency at Lambert Smith Hampton

ONE of Belfast's longest running independent fashion boutiques is investing more than £200,000 to relocate to a new store in Victoria Square.

Rio & Brazil has taken over a 3,200 sq ft two story unit on the ground floor, opposite the ionic yellow Jaffe Fountain and Kitchen Bar.

The new store, famous for its exclusive clothing lines for men and women, will open in August, with 14 staff.

Rio & Brazil first opened its doors 40 years ago in Belfast's Bradbury Place, soon followed by two further stores in Donegal Arcade and then to its current store on Wellington Place.

Victoria Square will benefit from the introduction of 10 unique brands that are exclusive to Rio & Brazil for Northern Ireland.

Shoppers will avail of more than 44 new brands not yet represented in Victoria Square. They include Circle of Gentlemen, Farah Vintage, Matchless London, Save The Queen, Pom Amsterdam and Ana Alcazar.

Rio & Brazil owner Steven Simpson said: “My father opened our first store 40 years ago making us now one of the longest running independent fashion boutiques in Belfast.

"Our continued evolution and introduction of unique premium products, over recent years, has now set us apart from high street stores. We are excited about the move and are looking forward to our new convenient setting in Northern Ireland's most prestigious shopping centre."

He added: “The business has traded strongly over the last few years, especially with the introduction of our online store MrandMrsStitch.com, and we felt now was the right time to move to a bigger premises.

"Our new unit is 25 per cent bigger than our current store and is situated at the main Victoria Street entrance, with prominent on street windows. This store will give us a bigger presence, allowing us to carry more labels and offer our consumers a bigger choice.”

Commercial property agency Lambert Smith Hampton acted on behalf of Victoria Square to secure the new tenant.

Its associate director of retail Gary Martin said: “The owner's decision to invest in a new store in Victoria Square is testament to the strength of the scheme as the top retail destination in Northern Ireland. We're confident Rio & Brazil will add to the already diverse retail offering in the centre and be a huge hit with consumers.”

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