Co-op store prepares for relaunch

THE mid- Essex based Chelmsford Star Co-op is to relaunch its flagship department store at the end of this month. The society's board of directors agreed in late 2004 to a major investment, the first since 1988 when the Chelmsford store was rebranded the Quadrant.

THE mid- Essex based Chelmsford Star Co-op is to relaunch its flagship department store at the end of this month.

The society's board of directors agreed in late 2004 to a major investment, the first since 1988 when the Chelmsford store was rebranded the Quadrant.

Since January 2005, more than £1million has been invested in the 125 year old store, including the introduction of air conditioning and a major upgrade of the roof and top floor windows, dramatically improving on energy conservation.

The store fascia has also been redesigned and will change from its traditional blue to a contemporary black and white colour scheme which will be re-iterated throughout the store with internal signage and packaging.


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The store's selling area is being increased to 37,000 square foot, an increase of 25%, with an additional 7,000 square foot of space being brought into play by moving the warehouse to a new location. This has enabled the opening of a second floor which now houses the beds, bedroom furniture and flooring sections.

The biggest change, however, will be an increased emphasis on fashion, which has been extended by 50% to occupy the entire ground floor. The store is targeting the area's affluent 40-plus market and is adding to its range of top brands, many of them exclusive in the area.

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Marketing and PR Manager Vanessa Howard said: “With our refit, we expect to now attract a more aspirational shopper, who wants quality brands, value for money and great choice with service to match.

“Exclusivity is important to us as it offers our customers a point of difference and a real reason not to have to travel to neighbouring towns and shopping centres, which is great news for customers but ultimately can only benefit Chelmsford as a town centre.”

The rest of the store will offer a wide range of furniture, housewares, kitchen design and installation, travel, photographic studio, hair salon, tailor, mobility aids, curtains and linens, luggage and a new restaurant.

The society has also improved facilities for the disabled and introduced automatic doors to both the main and riverside entrances. Lift access is available to all floors, the disabled toilets have been updated and hearing loops have been added to customer services.

The new-look store will be unveiled on Saturday, April 29.

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