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Fenwick announces £40 million investment in flagship Newcastle store as it marks 140th anniversary

Fenwick is today announcing a £40 million multi-year investment in the flagship Newcastle store to coincide with the launch of its 140th anniversary celebrations.

The changes will be carried out in phases over the next five years, and will include creating two new atria across all five storeys of the store and a complete renovation of the beauty hall and accessories area over the next eighteen months.

This significant investment demonstrates Fenwick’s longstanding commitment to the Newcastle community and to supporting the regeneration of the city. The Fenwick project aligns closely with the development initiatives of Newcastle City Council and Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, through the shared goals of investing in the city for the future.

The renovations will transform the in-store customer experience to ensure Fenwick maintains its position as the destination of choice for shoppers across the region. This continues the works begun last year to upgrade the historic facade of the building, and forms part of a broader programme of investment being made by Fenwick in its stores across the country, as well as in its online offering.

Architect Ben Mailen, who has close ties to the region, has been commissioned to work on the exterior including new entrances and frontages with open views into the store. He will be working alongside design studio Sybarite.

John Edgar, Fenwick CEO, said: “As a business with deep roots in the Newcastle community, we are delighted to be making this major investment in the future of the city. This commitment will see us working closely with the local council to support the regeneration of the city and open up opportunities for new partnerships with the business community.”

Mia Fenwick, Marketing and Digital Director, said: “The Fenwick family are pleased to be inviting local communities across the country to join us in celebrating our 140th anniversary. As we celebrate this milestone, we have been reflecting on our rich heritage, in order to look forward to what we will bring to our communities and partners for the next chapter. Today is about all the people who helped us reach 140 years and the future generations we will serve - through our stores and online.

Our Newcastle store is the heartland of our business, and this significant investment will enable us to continue serving the city, as well as strengthen the Fenwick purpose for new communities in years to come."

Michelle Percy, Director of Place, Newcastle City Council, said: “Fenwick department store has been at the heart of Newcastle city centre since 1882 and is part of our history, heritage, and culture. As a flagship store it’s a firm favourite among locals and visitors alike many of whom come to shop from overseas.

This multi-million-pound investment underlines Fenwick’s ongoing commitment to Newcastle which will continue to provide employment to thousands of staff as it has through the generations, making a significant contribution to the economic vitality and appeal of the city centre with luxury brands, restaurants, food hall and of course the iconic Fenwick’s window which has become an institution at Christmas.

“I look forward to seeing further improvements to this beautiful building.

Sarah Green, Chief Executive, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Fenwick have been an innovative brand and iconic part of Newcastle’s high street since 1882; this £40m investment is testament to Fenwick’s continued vision for the city and will create a retail experience that is unique to Newcastle, adding to the already fantastic offer of the city as a vibrant destination for visitors, residents, and future investors.

We look forward to working with Fenwick and our strategic partners across the city and wider region, to amplify the positive impact this investment will have on our visitor economy, retail offer and desirability as a top city to live, enjoy and invest.

Fenwick is also today launching its 140th anniversary celebrations with the opening of a public exhibition featuring works by Northumbria University fashion students inspired by the rich Fenwick archive and brand story. It is also opening Cafe 140, a celebratory cafe inspired by the archives, and there will be a spectacular live circus performance outside the store this Saturday.

Nationally, Fenwick will be launching exclusive brand collaboration collections designed with major brands to mark the occasion from the likes of Edeline Lee and Rixo to Paul Smith and Palmer Harding.