A clothing store selling designer brands at low prices has opened in the old M&S unit in the city center.
Sale Lab opened its very first Pottery outlet after running an e-commerce business for two years.
It is a wholesale business that buys excess clearance inventory from brands around the world and sells it to different retailers.
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The store is located in Market Square, Hanley – which previously housed M&S before it closed in August.
She sells designer clothes for women, men and children – as well as shoes and accessories – and her products cost no more than £ 15.
Ollie Thewlass, one of the directors of the company, said: “There was this fantastic opportunity in Stoke-on-Trent, with this M&S department store in the middle of town. We love Stoke-on-Trent, it’s very historic with a great community.
“We felt we needed something like that. We are trying to reallocate buildings like this. We want to offer high value products to the local community.
“We’re going to have retail outlets at the front of the store. The second and third floors will be a warehouse and a distribution. We hope that the top floor will be housing or that it will give the community back work space or temporary offices – we are working on it.
“Hopefully we can create a model of repurposing these great old buildings, because the idea of having all three retail floors for one business is probably over, with the likes online.
“We see that there is still a need for great products at a great price in communities like this. There are a lot of people here and we want to give back to them.
Sale Lab currently employs 20 people, but is looking to hire between 10 and 20 more people to fill a variety of positions ranging from the workshop to working behind the scenes in the warehouse.
Ollie, 37, added: “It was hard work and we opened it as soon as we could. Now the benefits are here for the people of Stoke-on-Trent.
“We had a great response, it’s amazing. People have seen the great products and prices and the community is talking about us. We are very happy to have an impact in this time leading up to Christmas.
“The brands we have and the products are fantastic. We offer designer brands at low prices.
“Our hopes are to create a successful business that offers great products at a great price.
“We hope that this model – the repurposing of old buildings – will be extended to other cities. This is the first of what we hope to be many.
“We didn’t know how it was going to turn out, but we knew downtown was busy and it was a good community. People are positive about the store.
“We are thrilled to be a part of Stoke-on-Trent and hope to see the entire local community soon. “
Buyers are excited to see another company join Hanley.
Sue Blakeman, 58, from Alsace, said: “It’s great that they opened. They have good clothes and that’s something Hanley needed.
“I hope it will attract more people to the city center. I miss Marks and Spencer, but at least it’s not another empty store.
Customer Elaine Smith, 65, from Dresden, added: “It’s fantastic for Hanley. Any store opening is better than none at all.
“It was nice to see so many people inside and buy stuff.”
Sale Lab’s opening hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
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