DESPITE growing gloom in the retail sector, one Chester business is reporting top sales figures during its first Christmas in the city.

Independent children’s clothing retailer Urchin moved into Chester Grosvenor Shopping Centre in November and is celebrating target-busting business into the New Year.

Specialising in children’s clothing, furniture, toys and gifts, the store is owned by man and wife team, Glenn and Nia Hughes, who opened up their flagship store in Llandudno in 2005. The success of the brand has now enabled them to open up their second store in Chester.

Glenn, 39, from Rhuddlan, North Wales, said: “We felt it was the right time to expand and Chester was a great city to be in. It has a good catchment area and we have not only had trade from local customers, but also from North Wales and even Liverpool.”

He added: “Despite the severe downturn elsewhere, we’ve been delighted with business performance so far.”

The secret of the store’s success, according to Glenn, is the specialist and personalised stock on offer. “People still look for something different,” he added.

Julie Webb, manager of the Chester Grosvenor Shopping Centre, said: “It is fantastic news that Urchin’s has enjoyed such a successful opening period.

“Despite some closures within the shopping centre, business has been good in the period leading up to Christmas, with an increase in shoppers taking advantage of the early sales.

“Whilst we experienced a downturn in the week December 22-29, the decline was much better than expected and we closed the trading week leading into the New Year just 2% lower than during the same period last year.”

She added: “We now look forward to the continuation of the January sales and hope that shoppers continue in their numbers to take advantage of some of the excellent discounts on offer.”