A POPULAR jewellery and accessories chain has opened the doors of its Winchester Branch.

As previously reported, Claire’s has taken over the former Smiggle unit, next door to Superdrug and Halifax.


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After weeks of work, the branch opened its doors on Friday, June 30 with a celebratory ribbon cutting, carried out by staff members of the new branch.

Hampshire Chronicle: Claire's will offer a range of services, including ear piecingClaire's will offer a range of services, including ear piecing (Image: Newsquest)District manager Luke MacNair, 32, said: “We came to look at the area about six or seven weeks ago, thought it was a very good area to have a store, something that was lacking here, and within two weeks we had found and secured a location and had four weeks notice to get it up and running.
“I think (Winchester) is a great market. Although we’ve got stores very local to us, we’ve always had that urge to have a store in Winchester, as many of our customers travel from Winchester to our Southampton store or Eastleigh store or Basingstoke store, so we thought we would give Winchester our slice of the market.

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“I believe it adds that Claire’s brand, but also we’re also ear piecing specialists, so what we can do is provide that service on the high street”.

Staff member Chloe Knox, 22, said: “There’s definitely a market here for a shop that’s Claire’s. There’s little independent stores, and there’s toy shops, but there isn’t something which brings it all together in one place. And obviously, Claire’s isn’t just for children or girls, it's for everybody.

Hampshire Chronicle: Claire's offers a range of productsClaire's offers a range of products (Image: Newsquest)“So, I think this is a really great shop to have here for everyone which is all-inclusive, and we just welcome everybody.

“We are ready to bring some sparkle; it is always a fun, friendly and safe environment for everybody. We’re just here to have fun and bring some positivity. Obviously, with the shops emptying (on the High Street), we just wanted to bring a bit more life back to the high street, and I think with our fun colours and enthusiasm we can definitely do that.”