Launched by entrepreneur Dick Mawdsley in 1999, Utility operates three outlets in Liverpool city centre – two in Bold Street and one in Liverpool One – and has won a number of top awards. Tony McDonough reports
Upmarket Liverpool-based gift and home accessories retailer Utility is opening a new outlet in Manchester.
Launched by entrepreneur Dick Mawdsley in 1999, Utility operates three outlets in Liverpool city centre – two in Bold Street and one in Liverpool One – and has won a number of top awards.
Utility did open a store in central London in 2012 and traded successfully for five years until its closure in May last year after its landlord looked to increase the rent from £50,000 to £90,000 a year.
The stores sell gifts, watches, jewellery and home accessories and the new Manchester outlet at University Green, the new retail and leisure development by regional property company Bruntwood and the University of Manchester.
University Green is situated in a key growth area within the Oxford Road Corridor area of the city near to major institutions, research facilities and technological and cultural assets including Manchester Science Partnerships.
It sits directly underneath the University’s Alliance Manchester Business School and forms part of the University’s £1bn Campus Masterplan and redevelopment.
Utility joins the line up alongside previously announced academic and general bookshop, Blackwell’s; artisan coffee house, Takk; restaurant and bar, Loungers; authentic American burger brand, Five Guys; Co-op Food; and international sandwich shop chain, Pret A Manger.
Mr Mawdsley said: “Opening our first store in Manchester is a natural progression for us and it’s very exciting because previously we have failed to find the right site.
“Oxford Road Corridor is the perfect location for us given the large working and student populations and we will also be co-located with some other great brands at University Green.
“Even though we are a Liverpool-based business we have a lot of customers in Manchester who travel, as well as shop through our website, and our plan now will be to follow up quickly with another store elsewhere in the city.”