Colchester’s Williams & Griffin store to relaunch of Fenwick following £35m redevelopment

The newly rebranded Fenwick store, previously Williams & Griffin, in Colchester.

The newly rebranded Fenwick store, previously Williams & Griffin, in Colchester. - Credit: Archant

Colchester’s new-look Fenwick department store is to be officially unveiled on September 15 following a £35m redevelopment.

But the full opening of the store, which has continued to trade throughout the construction phase, will also mark the end of an era, with the Fenwick identity replacing the Williams & Griffin name by which the High Street business has been known for more than half a century.

Fenwick, which acquired Williams & Griffin in 2008, has expanded the store by 50% to around 120,000sq ft – including a 10,000sq ft Beauty Hall – creating 70 additional jobs in the process.

In all, around 75% of the floor space will be devoted to fashion, beauty and accessories, with around 70 new brands – 20 of which are said to be new to Colchester – being introduced, taking the total to more than 600. The catering offer includes both Carluccios and Caffé Nero.

The redevelopment retains the mix of modern and older architecture along the store’s 50-metre frontage on to the High Street, with the Art Deco building which now houses Caffé Nero having been carefully restored and a former merchant’s house dating back to the 15th Century now featuring beauty brands.

The company said that launch event on Thursday, September 15, marked “an important milestone in Fenwick’s longstanding commitment to the re-establishment of Colchester as a major retail and leisure destination alongside its antiquity and stature as Britain’s oldest town”.

Mark Fenwick, chairman of Fenwick, said: “The heart of Colchester’s High Street is a fitting location for our 11th nth store. Together with its inspiring design and architecture, Fenwick Colchester reflects the full strength of our branded offer across fashion, beauty and accessories alongside home and furnishings.

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“Combining Colchester’s heritage with the needs of the 21st Century shopper, we are delighted by our new store and welcome new colleagues to the business.

“We very much hope you will enjoy the shopping experience which we believe will help reassert the centre of Colchester as the pre-eminent shopping destination in the region.”

Carl Milton, managing director of Fenwick Colchester, added: “We are really excited about the completion of this two-and-a-half-year redevelopment, and the launch of Fenwick Colchester this September.

“This major redevelopment will be a great boost for the town, not only in its creation of 70 new jobs for the area, but also in providing Colchester with a more diverse shopping experience through greater choice.”