While it might feel like yesterday to those who partook in the launch, it’s been one whole year since the doors of our Jules B Harrogate store opened for the first time. The Harrogate premises is our fifth physical store, housing a variety of designer womenswear brands, with the likes of Barbour, Holland Cooper and OSKA attracting fashion followers from far and wide. It’s a place for those who appreciate high-quality design, enjoy experimenting and like to empower their looks by venturing slightly away from the norm.
In light of turning one, we decided to check in with our Harrogate store manager, Lynne Markham. Lynne has been there since the launch, manning the shop floor, greeting customers and creating a welcoming space for people to browse the collections.
We interviewed Lynne to learn more about the store’s first year in business.
In just a few words, how would you describe the first year of Jules B Harrogate?
In just a few words, I’d have to say it’s been challenging but rewarding!
Harrogate was carefully chosen to house the fifth Jules B store. What do you think stands out the most about this town?
Harrogate is a beautiful spa town. It’s tidy and well-maintained with beautiful gardens. And we’re in a prime position, bang in the centre of a beautiful, beautiful town in the main spot, right opposite Bettys Café Tea Rooms. Our customers always say how amazing the location is.
What can you tell us about the overall response to the store?
The overall response has been very positive from all sides. A lot of people were so pleased about the arrival of Jules B in Harrogate because a lot of people, including me, know Jules B well and remember it opening years ago. And I’ve always sold the same or similar brands wherever I’ve worked. So, when I heard it was opening here, a lot of my old customers were very excited because a lot of them had been buying online or were travelling to the Yarm shop–our old shop. They’ve always known about Jules B and couldn’t wait for it to arrive in Harrogate. It’s right on their doorstep.
Do you have a favourite memory from working at the store?
My favourite memory… One of my favourites is obviously the launch which was amazing, but I have countless memories created by our wonderful team. Too many to mention!
What do the people of Harrogate particularly love about the store?
People always comment on the lovely presentation of the store. They like the warm friendly atmosphere, the great customer service and the diversity of our brands. And the shop itself. Like all the shops, because they’re all beautiful shops, you come in and it’s light and airy.
Everybody loves the smell of the Dr. Vranjes Firenze, and that’s one of the first things people say when they enter. I can’t smell them now because I’m here and I’m used to them. But when I’ve been off or away for a week, I’ve come in and I can smell them. But yes, people immediately say: “Wow, the shop smells lovely! It smells so nice in here.” And I usually say thank you very much! They’re just beautiful shops and even when we get customers in who don’t tend to buy from us, they still enjoy the experience of coming in and looking around, and they always comment on how lovely everything is. We always have great feedback.
Brands-wise, OSKA is one of our best-sellers. It flies out! There is a huge following for OSKA here. It’s just exceptional quality and the dyes they use are super because they won’t ever fade. Lurdes Bergada is another Harrogate favourite. It’s funny because I didn’t know the brand until I came here and I’ve worked in retail for 35 years, but we’ve had such great collections every season. The summer collection in particular was fabulous. For me, it’s the styling of the trousers. Plus, it’s quirky, edgy and it suits all ages. Even younger people in their twenties and thirties have bought the trousers alongside customers in their fifties, which is brilliant. It’s cut slightly smaller than OSKA so it makes a good alternative if you have a slightly smaller frame.
Jules B is welcoming a handful of brands just in time for the autumn/winter 2023 season. Is there a brand you’re particularly looking forward to joining Jules B?
The brands myself and the team are looking forward to coming into the store are Chelsea Peers and Soft Goat. These are incredible brands that we know our customers are going to love. And they both offer something different.
Tell us your top Jules B picks.
My favourite brands have got to be Zadig & Voltaire, Lurdes Bergada, Van Kukil cashmere and Rag & Bone. As for my top pics… I love the cashmere. The Van Kukil cashmeres are just beautiful. The quality is lovely, the colours are super. They are really super pieces. The Dea Kudibal silk blouses and the silk dresses are really lovely, too. They are the most beautiful silks.
I love the new Rails that just came in because of the vibrant colours. There’s the knits and the silk shirts, and we have the silk skirt that you can wear with the big chunky knits and a pair of boots. This is a really good look and they are such wearable pieces, which differs from some of our other stock that you wouldn’t necessarily wear every day, like the one-off occasion pieces. There’s some wonderful Rails pieces that came in yesterday, like the bright green and navy stripe knit sweaters and the A-line silk skirt that pairs with them.
I’d also say Lurdes Bergada. I have a pair of Lurdes Bergada trousers and the styling is great. This brand has a great price point and is super stylish, too.
For any shoppers who are yet to visit the store, what can they expect?
We love to welcome new customers and anybody that visits our store can expect a warm and friendly atmosphere, excellent customer service and the most exciting collections. Whatever your style is, we have a bit of everything. If you’re quirky and a bit outrageous, we’ve certainly got that. We don’t have anything boring! So, if you like something a little more out of the ordinary, you’re going to love our many one-of-a-kind pieces.
What can we expect from year 2 of Jules B Harrogate?
After such a brilliant first year in Harrogate, we’re extremely excited to see what the second year has in store! We can expect to increase our customer base as more and more people get to know Jules B, and as ever, we’re expecting more new brands to wow us with their collections.
The shop will be marking the occasion this weekend with some special in-store treats. Is there anything you’d like to share about this event?
I’d just like to say to customers old and new, please come and celebrate with us to mark our first milestone! And of course, come and see some of our new autumn/winter lines. You’re sure to fall in love like we have!