Brand Max opens first Northern Ireland store at Connswater

Ryan Kee from Lambert Smith Hampton and Laura McCarthy fromAlfred Street Properties, owners of Connswater

DESIGNER clothes and homewares retailer Brand Max has chosen the Connswater shopping complex in east Belfast for its first Northern Ireland store.

It has taken the anchor space vacated by Dunnes Stores in a 22,000 sq ft unit opposite The Range.

Under owners Alfred Street Properties Ltd, the Connswater shopping centre and retail park has experienced a resurgence in the last year, with a string of retailers confirming plans for new stores.

Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons will open its first drive-thru restaurant in the retail park in early December while Savers also opened its 20th Northern Ireland store in the centre last month.

Laura McCarthy, senior property asset manager of Alfred Street Properties, said: “We're delighted Brand Max has chosen our centre as the location for its first Northern Ireland store.

“This is an extremely challenging time for retail but despite this we have managed to introduce three new brands to the complex in recent months, which is further confirmation that Connswater has turned a corner and significant changes made to date have been having a positive impact for our customers and the retail trade.”

Brand Max, which is planning more than a dozen stores in Britain and Ireland, is owned by Mike Ashley's retail chain Sports Direct.

But it has been at the centre of a legal spat with US retail giant TK Maxx, which claims the Brand Max stores are an infringement of its trademark and that Mike Ashley is attempting to “deceive the public” by opening new stores under that title.

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