80 new jobs in store
UP TO 80 jobs are being created with the opening of a new fashion store at Festival Park.
New Look is opening its latest branch in the spring in the unit between Mothercare and Boots.
A New Look spokesman said: "We will be opening our new store in the spring.
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"We will be taking over the former Powerhouse unit which gives us a new 11,000 sq ft shop. We are delighted with this result and have great hopes for the new Festival Park store."
In 2008, New Look enjoyed sales of £1.2 billion. That was up 14 per cent from the firm's £1 billion sales in 2007.
It is the second sole clothing outlet to open at Festival Park after Next opened in July 2007.
It followed the overturning of a legal ruling which had previously limited retail at Festival Park to "bulky and white goods".
"We see Festival Park as an extension of the city centre and until Next went there it had a particular range of shops that was different to the city centre.
Richard Day, pictured, spokesman for Stoke-on-Trent City Centre Partnership, today welcomed the new jobs but raised concerns that the store could take trade away from the city centre.
He said: "New Look has quite a large store in the Potteries Shopping Centre which trades very well.
"Although the new store will be good for Festival Park and help trade there, it may have an effect on the city centre which is not good when we are trying to boost it after the closure of Woolworths.
"Though it is really good to hear jobs are being created."
Shoppers at Festival Park today welcomed news New Look is coming.
Teacher Charlotte Johnson, aged 29, from Alsager, said: "We need more clothes shops out of the city centre. I find them more convenient with having children because I can just park and go to the shop."
The jobs will be advertised over the next few weeks.