Last week was a celebratory one for Cardiff fashion retail – the opening of the largest H&M store in the UK in St David’s Shopping Centre and the first birthday celebrations for the beautiful Renate Store in Morgan Arcade.
Opposite ends of the spectrum perhaps, with a global retailer and a local independent boutique, but both have something to offer the Cardiff shopper.
The new H&M store is a definite improvement when it comes to layout than the previous store. There’s much more space and the departments are clearer to navigate. I was also really pleased to see the addition of H&M Home in the new store as well as an extended beauty range, more shoes and accessories and of course more fashion.
The opening party was brilliant, with 25% off everything, cakes, cocktails, singers (Ella Eyre even made an appearance) and DJ’s. The queues to get in were unlike anything I’ve seen before in the Centre.
The next night I went to the always elegant Renate Store for a warm welcome from store owner Stephanie and her assistant Emily. The store stocks Scandinavian, Australian and British brands and includes accessories, shoes and skincare as well as a beautiful array of very feminine but contemporary clothes. Dresses, jackets and coats, as well as jersey separates and luxury leather skirts are in store now and there’s always a constant flow of new designs.
Prices are reasonable for something you don’t see everywhere and there are regular sales held both instore and online.
Steph and Emily are dab hands at holding great parties too. They always seem to be the right mix of a professional gathering combined with a warm and friendly welcome.
Shopping in Cardiff just goes from strength to strength and I hope there will always be room and support for the local independent retailers trying to offer something unique, as well as the global players.