A HUSBAND and wife team are hoping for bags of success after launching a new fashion accessories store at Bolton’s Crompton Place Shopping Centre.
#Bag has opened its doors at the mall selling handbags, scarves and hats, owners Tony and Jackie Singh say so far sales are going brilliantly.
Now in the midst of a hectic festive season, the pair have been welcomed by local shoppers and fellow tenants and have taken a definite shine to Bolton people.
The shop’s name #Bag includes a hashtag symbol, used on social media websites to highlight trends, reflecting shop’s ethos for stocking up-to-the-minute styles.
Tony said: “I’m not just saying this, but we’re both born and bred from Manchester and we love the city but we’ve found the people here to be so much more talkative and they find more time for you. Everyone is so nice.”
Tony, aged 40, and Jackie, aged 37, live in Bramall, Stockport, with their three children and with family backgrounds in business Tony says that retail is in the blood.
Having studied Biomedical Science at Bradford, he spent many years working in hospitals before deciding to make a change.
“I just wanted to be my own boss,” he said. “We launched a website selling clothes and things and now that the children are a bit older Jackie wanted to do something too so the shop is an extension of that business and it’s going really well.
“She studied Law at university but wanted to spend time with the kids when they were younger.
“Now they are 16, 14 and 11 so she can do a bit more and once we’re up and running the shop here at Crompton Place will be her thing.
“She’s done her time on the school run now and it was a choice between becoming a driving instructor or this, but the family have been in the fashion trade for many, many years so this is where we have all the contacts and suppliers.”
Stocking handbags, scarves, hats and other accessories, #Bag caters for all tastes and turns its stock around quickly so there is always something new in store.
“Once something is sold we don’t replace it, we change stock and customers are loving that,” Tony added.
“People seem to like the feel of the place and we keep our prices low. We have to cater for our customers, and when we’ve got Primark here as a big anchor store that’s a great draw for our market.
“Nearly all our bags are under £20 and the response we’ve had so far is fantastic. A lot of people have been saying we needed a bag shop in Bolton and the feedback has just been phenomenal.
“The Christmas decorations are up and there’s a great atmosphere to the centre so fingers crossed we’ll have a great Christmas.”
Once they are established, Jackie and Tony are hoping to take on a part time member of staff so that Jackie can finish in time to be home for the children after school.
Until then they are both throwing all their energy into their new venture and looking forward to a bright future at Crompton Place.
Tony said: “It has been great so far, but everyone is busy at this time of year so it’s hard to judge.
“You can’t really tell until you’ve been in business for a year but from the way things are going so far are the signs are good and we’re feeling really positive.”
Paula Wood, centre manager at Crompton Place shopping centre said: “I’m a huge handbag fan so it’s great to have Jackie and Tony here at Crompton Place.
“They’re so enthusiastic about their product and they really do know what the customers want so they are a great compliment to our larger anchor stores like Primark.”
For more information about Crompton place go to www.crompton-place.co.uk or visit the centre’s Facebook page or Twitter account @CromptonPlace.