The head of the company behind the new Topshop development in central Leeds described the store as “outstanding” after he called in for an impromptu visit.
Sir Philip Green, the businessman behind the Arcadia brand which also includes Dorothy Perkins, BHS and Evans, made a flying visit to the shop the day after it was officially opened.
He was suitably impressed by what he saw in the Briggate store, which is thought to be the chain’s biggest outlet outside London.
“I think the unit is great,” Sir Philip said. “My team have done a fabulous job – the store has a lot of energy.”
The 31,000 sq ft shop is on the site of the original Leeds Topshop, which opened in 1978. Its construction means the number of Topshop staff employed in Leeds has doubled.
Around 250 people gathered outside it for the official re-opening on Thursday morning and, yesterday, interest in the shop was still strong, with shoppers flocking to see what was on offer.
“It’s a great location, very visible, great frontage,” said Sir Philip, adding: “We’re always trying to better ourselves.”
The new Topshop and Topman store is the first part of the Trinity Leeds development to open its doors to the public.
Construction on the rest of the £350m complex is still ongoing, with developer Land Securities planning a full opening on March 21 next year, the first day of spring. Around 200,000 people are expected to use the centre every day.
Retailers including Next, River Island, M&S, Superdry, Urban Outfitters and Mango have signed up to have outlets in the 1m sq ft complex, which will have 120 shops, restaurants and cafes over three floors.
During the brief trip to Leeds, Sir Philip managed to see some of the other parts of the Trinity Leeds development and was impressed with the project and the impact it will have on the city.