Fashion retailer River Island is opening its new store in Chester city centre this Saturday (November 21).
Shop fitters are busy preparing the outlet which is located in the former Marks and Spencer menswear store in Foregate Street.
The previous store in Newgate Row, Grosvenor Shopping Centre , has now closed.
Homeware brand Wilko is also on the move from further down Foregate Street and will eventually be situated alongside.
River Island spokeswoman Holly Fulco said previously: ‘I can confirm River Island will be occupying 13,000 sq ft and Wilko will be taking 38,000 sq ft of the space.”
The large former M&S unit, with entrances in Foregate Street and Frodsham Street, was vacated in March 2014 when the retailer consolidated its offer across the road in its other store.
And Blue Coast Commercial Investments was granted planning permission to subdivide part of the premises fronting Foregate Street, with separate entrances for the two different retailers.
The company wrote said in an accompanying statement to Cheshire West and Chester Council : “The unit, having been vacant for some 10 months, does not currently contribute to the visual amenity of the area or the general vitality and viability of the city centre.”
They added: “The proposal will ensure the units meet both retailers’ and customers’ requirements. In addition, the scheme will sensitively improve and modernise the appearance of the unit in keeping and within the character of the conservation area.”
Splitting up the former M&S store overcame the difficulty in marketing such a large unit.
The Wilko store is not yet finished. The new outlet will be about twice the size of the old unit and over two floors.
Company spokesman Peter Woodall said: ‘We love being part of the community in Chester and have been looking for an opportunity to offer our great product range, value and choice in an even better shopping environment. Once we have a firm opening date we will let everyone know.”