Latest News | 8 November 2021

Historic retailer Bennetts makes return to the High Street

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Historic Derby retailer Bennetts, regarded as the oldest department store brand in the world, has announced a return to the High Street with plans for a series of new stores.

The brand, which was founded in 1734, has revealed plans to open four new outlets over the next two years, as well as returning to its flagship Iron Gate store, in the Cathedral Quarter, once restoration works are complete.

The first of the new shops, branded as Seasons by Bennetts, opened on Friday – a ‘pop-up’ situated in Sadler Gate, not far from the Iron Gate department store, which closed in 2019.

Managing director Paul Hurst, who purchased the Bennetts brand two years ago, said: “It is great to be back on the High Street again.

“We are particularly excited about the Seasons stores as they are a lot smaller and more focused, so fit well on the High Street in historic towns, which sits perfectly with the Bennetts brand.”

For the past two years, Bennetts has been trading online. The new stores will operate alongside the retailer’s online offer.

Ben Kettell, sales and marketing executive for Bennetts, said: “We are really excited about the Seasons stores, which will be very focused while staying true to Bennetts’ reputation for fabulous customer service and a great selection of luxury gifts, accessories and homeware.

“Since we launched Bennetts online, we have been overwhelmed by the success and the positive response from our customers on a national level.

“We really expected it to be more of a local thing, but the great British public have really embraced the world’s oldest department store brand online.”

According to Mr Hurst, the firm is still committed to reopening the Iron Gate store, which has been its home for 287 years.

But he said that the level of works required for the listed building, combined with major regeneration of buildings within the area, had slowed down this progress.

He said: “We are still totally committed to the Iron Gate store. With it being our flagship, we want it to be something really special and we hope to be releasing more information on that in the near future.

“In the meantime, what a great time to be opening our first Seasons store for Christmas.

“The Sadler Gate store looks amazing and is full of Christmas decorations and an array of gifts.

“Sticking with Bennetts’ tradition for quality and something very different and unique, our team have been very busy working with Bennetts’ suppliers old and new to bring great products to our seasons store.”

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