FASHION retailer Jack Wills has undergone a major expansion in Oxford.
The rapidly-expanding chain has uprooted its shop on the city’s High Street to larger, newly-refurbished premises further up the same road nearer Carfax.
And its sister brand Aubin and Wills has taken its place in the original premises, doubling the company’s presence in the city centre.
Meanwhile, another clothing retailer, Sweaty Betty, is moving into a site formerly occupied by Oddbins off licence.
Oddbins shut up shop in January after landlord Oriel College called time on the lease, despite the business being rescued from administration.
The move has been welcomed by retail experts as a sign that despite competition from the internet along with Oxford’s high rents, businesses can still prosper on the high street.
Graham Jones, spokesman for the Oxford High Street Association, said: “We need a little bit of renovation in the High Street and this will help provide that.
“Jack Wills is on the mark with its market research and the opportunity has come along to bring in its other brand which is not so well known.
“It will be very interesting to see what happens. As Jack Wills is a popular store, that will encourage people to come further down from Carfax as far as King Edward Street.”
Jack Wills is now on the site of the former Bourton Mill Health and Leisure Club and Ryman’s stationers.
The gym closed its doors a year ago claiming a rent increase was too high while Ryman’s has moved to a new site on Queen Street.