Whilst most of the focus has been on the imminent closure of House of Fraser and the headline grabbing antics of Mike Ashley, you might have missed a whole batch of brand new stores that have popped up at Intu Metrocentre recently. See these guys don’t like to shout about it when they have us to do that for them…
This week Intu Metocentre invited eight of its centre Bloggers along to take a tour of some of the latest additions to the shopping mall and see some of those famous Christmas trees that go floor to glass ceiling. Sounds pretty good right? Well throw in one Santa Express Train and things just got awesome!
So, as we boarded the train, champagne flutes in hand, we set off on a tour like no other, with a few little surprises along the way. First stop, Hotel Chocolat, not a new store but with some beautifully festive windows and a quick refuel with some coconut ice-cream and mini chocolate reindeer, we were ready to head off to visit our first new store.
This is a huge win for Intu Metrocentre, the varsity brand bridges a gap that appeals to teenagers and students as well as twenty somethings and beyond. In order to capitalise on the Christmas trade, a pop up store launched on the ground floor whilst the permanent store was being fitted ready to launch December 5th and I’m told the shop fit will be the typical Jack Wills aesthetic. Think dark wood flooring, monochrome tiling, exposed metal fixtures and those signature blue and pink stripes. If you’re looking for gifts for teenagers then you’re bound to find something here whether it’s a rugby shirt, a scarf or a simple beauty gift. On leaving the pop up store we were gifted a roll on perfume in handbag size which would make the perfect stocking filler, and a cute pair of thick ankle height socks, perfect for wearing with chelsea boots in the colder weather.
I gotsta be honest Voyeurs, this is a store I know of because I see it on Tottenham Court Road when I’m working in London, but I never go in because I always thought it was a men’s store but after hearing a little bit more about it, it’s piqued my interest and here’s why. Sustainable Denim. That’s right, G-Star Raw is a huge part of the sustainable fashion movement and each piece it makes is ethically sourced and sustainably made. The store itself is a denim lovers paradise, the biggest hurdle is getting through the door and it’s easy to see why you might be put off because looking through and into the space it’s just piled high with denim. Once you’re in however, staff are helpful and knowledgable, cuts are easy to understand and sizing is generous. In terms of pricing for denim it’s middle of the road, the average pair of G-Star Raw jeans is £80 which is comparable to Seven for All Mankind, Paige or And/Or. Only with this brand, you’re part of a positive movement. You’ll find this store on the ground floor opposite Flannels and The Disney Store.
The Couture Club
You’ll find The Couture Club in the Red Mall towards Debenhams, its dark frontage and red logo make it stand out as a streetwear store. Once inside you’ll see the store is divided into premium and more affordable streetwear as well as some premium sportswear. The shop-fit is simple and dark with wire fixtures and decorative skulls, this one is definitely a brand for fans of wearing a logo.
This is the one you’ve been waiting for, so, it’s finally here, the store the North East has yearned for for years, Victoria’s Secret has landed and man is it good. The store itself is a double walkthrough store – meaning we get Victoria’s Secret and we get PINK and they link through into one 10,000sqft store which combine Victoria’s Secret, Victoria’s Secret Sport, PINK, PINK Sport, Sleep and Lounge wear as well as the whole beauty and makeup offering which is pretty amazing right?
The store offers free bra measuring and those girls will run around after you all day long if needs be to find you the right bra, or they’ll leave you in peace if you want to choose your own. Whatever you tell them, they’ll do. Victoria’s Secret has one method of training and it rolls out across all stores so as long as you make your wishes clear at the outset, these Angels will do what they can to make them come true.
There are also seasonal offers which change pretty frequently and they’re real good. from their recent two bras for £40 (yes you read that right) through to 30% off all sleepwear, there’s pretty much an offer on in-store everyday. If you’re not a fan of the lingerie, and there are some of you out there, then the gym wear can’t be beaten. Some of the best gym wear I’ve ever had is from Victoria’s Secret Sport and with three lines, that means three price points and even the entry level range is every bit as good as Nike’s Dri-Fit running tights. True story. There’s also the obligatory Victoria’s Secret Wings photo opportunity tucked away underneath the closest escalator to the store too, you’re welcome Voyeurs.
This one is more of a mover than a brand new store, Quiz has taken a bit of a hiatus from Intu Metrocentre whilst the new store was being remodelled in the Red Mall. It’s come to be be known as a total sparkle-fest and when we arrive that’s evident as the store is piled high with sequinned Christmas party dresses and shimmery jumpsuits all endorsed by the girls of TOWIE (including my lush mate Chloe Lewis).
We were very kindly given £40 to spend in-store on a party piece and as you know sparkle isn’t really my thing, I make it my mission to find something Christmassy, but not with too much sparkle and end up going way over budget and spending an additional £34 of my own money too on a ridiculously sparkly and very off brief floor length skirt, a houndstooth check jersey dress and an amazing skirt that looks like a 3D Christmas tree which I never would have found if I hadn’t been invited to this event, so thank-you Intu Metrocentre.
So, if like me, you’re yet to even think about starting your Christmas shopping, then Intu Metrocentre is a pretty good bet. With all your usual festive favourites (err Marks & Spencer anyone??) as well as some brand new amazing destination stores such as Victoria’s Secret and Jack Wills to check out too.