Since opening its doors more than two years ago Born Clothing in Newtownsmith has grown from strength to strength, quickly gaining a reputation as a true shopping destination, offering its customers not only the latest fashions at affordable prices but also tasty culinary delights and beautiful views at its trendy cafe.
In a time when the retail industry is under increasing pressure Galway company Born Clothing, owned by John Curley and Joan Lynch, has managed to buck the trend, making a success of its flagship store and going on to open stores in four more locations; Born Clothing opened in Athlone Town Centre in July 2010, its store at the Tuam Shopping Centre celebrated its first birthday on November 25 last, while stores opened in the Galway Shopping Centre, Headford Road, and Thurles Shopping Centre, Tipperary, in September and October respectively this year, and according to PR and marketing manager, Kate McDonald, the expansion is not going to end there.
“The brand is certainly growing, and thankfully we are continuing to be successful and hope to expand again early next year. We’re local and it’s high street fashion at affordable prices, it is a winning combination. We employ between 60 and 70 staff between our five locations, with 20 to 25 people in our Newtownsmith store alone. Part of the success is that we appeal to all, we have a broad customer base, from newborns, to teens, to ladies in their twenties to up to their fifties, and men up to sixties age group. It’s a one stop shop where you can get jeans, jumpers in the daywear section, a glitzy dress, occasion wear or workwear. A lot of our shops also do footwear, handbags, and headpieces.
“It is tough in the retail industry at the moment but we have affordable price points and a fantastic team in place that make the right choices when it comes to buying stock, brands you can’t get elsewhere. Born strive to have the latest in celebrity looks and you can get completely kitted out in our fashion brands for under €100. Because we’re a local brand people like to give their support. We put a huge focus on marketing and branding, in our social media, to bring our brands to customers and to hold events and promotions to give back to our customers. All the staff in each store place a huge emphasis on customer service. They are highly knowledgeable and they always aim to give service with a smile,” said Ms McDonald.
As well as being one of the biggest fashion retailers in Galway the Newstownsmith three storey building is also aesthetically very pleasing. There is plenty to explore here with two floors of top fashion brands and on the top floor there are beautiful home furnishings and wall hangings by sister company Home Gallery. When the browsing is complete customers can have a well deserved break at The Boutique Kitchen which is also a popular haunt for those looking to have a relaxing lunchtime away from the work desk. The in-house cafe, which is now under new management, strives to go above and beyond to ensure great customer service and food. With the specials menu changing every day there is plenty to whet the appetite with high quality food at good prices including soups, light bites, salads and hearty mains. The Boutique Kitchen also has a selection of wines and speciality teas and coffees.
“The cafe puts a huge emphasis on customer service. There are lots of business people coming in for their lunch and they want to get great service and food in a timely manner. It’s called The Boutique Kitchen for a reason, the decor is very pretty, you’re greeted when you come in and brought to the seat. The entire building here at Newstownsmith is beautiful, it is a shopping experience in itself with a lovely view of the river. You can then browse, have coffee, go upstairs to Home Gallery which stocks ornate home furnishings, pictures, mirrors, and other wall hangings, as well as having some of the best Christmas decorations,” said Ms McDonald, who added that Born Clothing’s stores in Galway Shopping Centre and the Tuam Shopping Centre have been just as appealing to customers. A party was recently held to celebrate the first birthday of the 4,000sq ft store at Tuam Shopping Centre and this was an opportunity to thank the customers and the town of Tuam for welcoming the store with open arms. The store has certainly proven a big success, stocking a wide selection of men’s and women’s fashion, attracting customers from all around, and helping to make Tuam a real shopping destination. Again, in its on-going efforts to meet customers’ needs Born Clothing opened a 3,000sq ft store in the Galway Shopping Centre which has the added bonus of free parking and convenience for customers from areas of the city such as Tirellan, Mervue, Renmore, and those coming from further afield.
Born Clothing stocks brands such as Vila, Vera Moda, Only, Lipsy, and Motel in the ladie’s section with sizes from six up to 24 in some ranges. In the mens section, there are brands such as Jack & Jones, Selected, Bench, and Henleys, while in the footwear department there are top brands like Emu, and KMB. With top brands such as Name It the children’s section stocks clothes suitable for newborns up to 12 years old, in casual and occasion wear.
With more than 6,200 followers Born Clothing’s Facebook page has certainly become a hit with fashion fans who are kept regularly updated on what is in store, competitions, give-aways, special promotions, and other announcements. There is a concerted effort by Born Clothing to regularly treat their loyal customers to special events and promotions. A recent event held at the flagship store in Newtownsmith recently saw Galway girl Aoife Coghlan being crowned the new face of Born Clothing, while a style showcase event held on November 5 last was attended by Ireland AM and Xpose stylist Cathy O’Connor who was on hand to give a talk on current trends and top style tips.
Ms McDonald said: “We hold these events to offer customers even more, we want to reward our customers and ensure that brands are stocked that meet their needs. We also like to get involved in the local community by participating in fashion shows such as a recent event at the Claregalway Hotel on December 7 which was in aid of Ability West, and a shopping evening the night before at the Clayton Hotel to fundraise for Parkinson’s disease. Born Clothing have also sponsored prizes for the Galway Lions Club auction, St Vincent De Paul and are working on an event with the Simon Community that is taking place in the New Year. We are a local brand and we want to partner with local charities and become more involved in the community.”
As part of Born Clothing’s efforts to give something back to their customers a special promotion is being held this weekend at all the stores offering 20 per cent off many items from Friday, December 16, right through until Sunday, December 18.
If you are still struggling to find the perfect Christmas gift then why not call into one of the Born Clothing stores to pick up a gift voucher. Born Clothing is open until 9pm from Monday, December 19, until Friday December 23, and open until 4pm on Christmas Eve. For more information log onto www.bornclothing.net or Facebook.com/bornclothing