The new openings follow an extensive restoration programme of Queen’s Arcade which was carried out by its owners, Lunn’s the Jewellers, in 2019. The work enhanced the Arcade’s Victorian splendour and included the restoration of the building’s façade on Donegall Place, the laying of a bespoke Italian floor and the renovation of the interior’s plasterwork.
Designed by James McKinnon and built in 1880, Queen’s Arcade is a Category B1 listed building and Belfast’s last remaining Victorian shopping arcade. It was purchased by Lunn’s the Jewellers in 2002.
Work on the boutiques will commence shortly and is scheduled to be completed by December 2021, with more than 20 new retail and back-office jobs to be created by Lunn’s following the expansion.
John Lunn, Managing Director of Lunn’s Jewellers, said the addition of new stores for four such iconic brands is a vote of confidence in Belfast and provides a boost for the city’s retail offering that will be popular with both local shoppers and international tourists as they start to return to Belfast.
“The opening of standalone boutiques for these luxury brands is a huge endorsement for Belfast as very few cities in the UK are able to enjoy this mix of stores. We are excited about the future for Queen’s Arcade and will continue to invest to make it one of the premier shopping destinations in Ireland,” he said.
Welcoming news of the investment, Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Kate Nicholl said: “It’s wonderful to see this investment in our city’s heritage; Queen’s Arcade is really special – a listed building and the last remaining Victorian shopping arcade in Belfast, so I’m delighted that this continued investment will help ensure it is enjoyed for many years to come.
“I think it shows a real vote of confidence in Belfast that we are attracting brands of this calibre to our high street and creating more choice, not just for our own residents, but for visitors to the city as well as tourists; and the creation of more jobs is very welcome, particularly as we look ahead to the city’s Covid-recovery journey and reimagine our city centre.”
John Lunn with Belfast Lord Mayor, Kate Nicholl