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MORLEYS BRINGS ‘SOMETHING SPECIAL’ TO BEXLEYHEATH AS 100 STAFF HELP CELEBRATE OPENING OF NEW DEPARTMENT STORE AT BROADWAY SHOPPING CENTRE

New department store Morleys opened its doors amid cheers of celebration and a host of colourful entertainment, at Broadway Shopping Centre in Bexleyheath.

Shoppers got to explore the flagship fashion and homewares department store which has created 100 local jobs, following an official opening ceremony on Thursday April 13.

The store was officially launched for business by the Mayor of the London Borough of Bexley, Councillor Eileen Pallen at 10am. It follows a major £3m redevelopment across two floors, in a 50,000 square foot unit previously occupied by BHS.

Morleys was praised for bringing “something special” to the area, by the Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE, who was among the guests at the opening ceremony.

Staff at Morleys were each presented with a white carnation to symbolise good luck at a breakfast in the store’s new restaurant Angelica’s Cafe, before the ribbon was cut to officially open the store by Cllr Pallen, at 10am.

The launch was heralded by a traditional Town Crier who rang out the good news about Morleys across Broadway Shopping Centre throughout the day.

There was also music from the Melodians Steel Orchestra who created a carnival atmosphere with bursts of calypso, classical, modern, pop and jazz tunes, led by South London musician Terry Noel MBE.

Hundreds of premium brands offered at Morleys Bexleyheath include many new to Bexleyheath, such as Top Shop and Top Man, Radley, Barbour, Moss Bros, Oasis, Phase Eight, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Cath Kidston, Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Christy, Ted Baker, Tempur, Dunlopillo, Clinique, Clarins and Benefit.

The opening follows months of hard work by Broadway Shopping Centre’s owners NewRiver, and the London Borough of Bexley which is the freeholder of Broadway Shopping Centre, to secure a tenant for the unit.

Cllr O’Neill said: “I’m delighted to be present at the opening of the new Morley’s department store.

“The store promises to bring something really special to the Broadway for residents and visitors alike. The added bonus is the number of new jobs that the store has been able to offer local people.

“I am proud that we have been able to play a part in making the new store possible. This is a really good news story for our borough and I wish Morley’s and its staff every success.”

Other entertainment throughout the day included a giant maze named in honour of Morleys which shoppers can explore, will remain at Broadway Shopping Centre until Saturday April 15.

Inside Morleys, children visiting the toy department on the first floor got the chance to meet a life-sized Slick the Fox character, from the TY Beanie Boo Buddy range.

Fun characters Miss and Mr Ballooniverse were also roaming around the store, and there was face painting, which will continue until April 15.

Founded in 1927, London-based Morleys is one of the UK's leading independent department store groups and Bexleyheath is their ninth department store.

Morleys Bexleyheath offers ladies fashion, beauty and menswear on the ground floor, while the first floor boasts a comprehensive home department, including china and glass, electricals, gifts, beds, linens and curtains, toys, luggage and haberdashery.

David Hordle, Managing Director at Morleys Group said: “We’re so excited to be open for business in Bexleyheath.

“We’ve made a significant £3m investment in the store to fund a complete refurbishment, and it was lovely to see people’s reaction when they walked in.

“The staff have had a great day too, trade was brisk from the word go, and we hope that will continue as people get to know the store.”

Broadway Shopping Centre sees a total footfall. of 9.5 million shoppers per year. Morleys joins existing big name anchors M&S, H&M, New Look, TK Maxx, Boots and Sainsbury's.

Peter Sedge, General Manager at Broadway Shopping Centre, said: “It’s great to see a successful brand like Morleys investing in the local economy.”

“It’s a vote of confidence in Bexleyheath and in particular in Broadway Shopping Centre, and testament to the hard work put in both by NewRiver and Bexley Council to secure such a quality tenant.

“We’ve had a great response from the public so far. Morleys is a great fit for Broadway Shopping Centre and we are looking forward to a busy year ahead.”

Morleys offers a price promise which means if shoppers find a product cheaper on the high street they will match the price or refund the difference.

Shoppers were also this week being offered the chance to sign up for the Morleys Rewards scheme which grants 10% off purchases for a limited period.

For more information about Morleys in Bexleyheath you can visit their website: http://www.morleysbexleyheath.co.uk/

For more information about events and stores at Broadway Shopping Centre go to www.broadwayshoppingcentre.com or visit the centre’s Facebook page or Twitter account @BroadwayBexley