Music and football free-styling welcomed St Helens shoppers as sports fashion retailer JD opened its expanded store at Church Square Shopping Centre.
Five extra staff have been recruited to the 2,750 sq ft store, with a wider range of the company’s top-selling sportswear on offer.
JD has relocated to the entrance of the shopping centre’s Lagrange Arcade from a smaller unit in the mall.
One of the first through the doors on Saturday was Lindsey Hawksworth and her two daughters, Madison, 10, and Kaydie, seven, who both attend Eccleston Mere Primary School, St Helens.
The girls were on the look-out for presents for their dad and found just what they were looking for.
Lindsey said: “We bought a tee-shirt and shorts for their dad, ready for our family holiday in Tenerife.
“I shop at JD a lot but would normally go to Prescott. However, now the Church Square branch has been expanded and is so much bigger so I’ll be coming here.
“I’m really pleased with the shop, which has a lot more stock with a wider range and there is a lot more space to look around – this is so much better than the other store.”
New store manager is 22-year-old Kaye Fiddler of Huyton, who previously worked in JD’s Liverpool 1 outlet before becoming assistant manager of the Cheshire Oaks branch.
Kaye was delighted with how the newly expanded store looks and the reaction she got from shoppers after she threw open the doors to customers at 9am.
She said: “I’m really pleased it looks really, really smart. There is so much more space and we are carrying a lot of new brands and fashion stock. It’s going to make a big difference.
“We have taken on five new members of staff and I can see us being very busy, all the time. The opening was fabulous. It started slowly at 9am but soon started to build.
“We had a top freestyle footballer giving displays and DJ playing top music all day as well as our own promo team.”
Fitness fan Kaye admits she’s got the perfect job at JD – as she collects sports trainers.
She said: “I’m obsessed and I know I need to rein myself in a bit. I keep them in boxes in my bedroom with my shoe collection.
“I’d never wear the same trainers, or shoes, two days running. I like to keep them clean and fresh. So I wear them and then return them to their box.
“I see the launch of a new design of trainers and I just have to have a pair! I do a lot of fitness work in the gym too as well as weightlifting so I do buy a lot of sports clothing and trainers from JD anyway.”
The new store stocks clothing and footwear for men, women and children, along with accessories such as bags, caps and sports equipment.
Church Square Shopping Centre manager Steven Brogan said: “It’s been a busy day at the store, and shoppers have been very interested to see what’s on offer, with the side range.
“There was a great buzz in the centre, with the DJ playing music, while the freestyle football displays were a real hit with families.
“I am proud to welcome the new staff and the expanded store to Church Square, following on from the new H&M store. It’s a real boost for the town and gives people even more reasons to visit St Helens.”
Church Square Shopping Centre is open daily and home to a range of big name stores – such as H&M, River Island, Boots and Superdrug – along with independent retailers plus the busy St Mary’s Market. More details at churchsquaresthelens.co.uk