SD Kells to open menswear shop

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Family department store SD Kells is to open a new shop in Portadown.

The 5,000 sq ft menswear store will open in mid-July to early August in the Market Street premises formerly occupied by Poundstretcher.

According to managing director Ian Kells it will employ at least six staff - a manager and four or five full-time employees, with part-time staff to follow.

The company is currently advertising for the posts.

The Portadown store, the 11th S D Kells shop in the province, will stock a range of middle to top end brands, such as Camel, Eterna, Baumler and Gabicci, for late teens upwards.

It will overseen by David’s brother Andrew, who has responsibility for menswear within the SD Kells group, along with Stanley McElwaine.

Another brother, David Kells, is also one of the partners in the business.

S D Kells, which has its headquarters in Fermanagh, has been in business for three generations in the province.

It also trades as Regatta Clearance, and has six such stores, including one in Portadown’s West Street.

The company, which also deals online, employs 130 across the province, having been founded in 1927.

It has a strong connection to Portadown, with the Kells brothers’ parents having met in Corbett’s department store in Market Street.

Said Ian, “My mother, Shirley Hobson, who is originally from Drumnahuncheon, met my dad Roy when they both worked in Corbett’s, and he took her home to Fermanagh.”

Both his parents now take a ‘back seat’ in the business.

The store was founded in 1928 in Lisnaskea by Roy’s parents, Samuel David (hence the initials in the name of the business) and his wife Mary Mildred.

Corbett’s closed after it was firebombed in the early 1970s, and it was replaced by the block which now includes the Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

Other SD Kells store sell menswear, ladies’ fashions, lingerie, bridal, children’s and schoolwear, as well as bed linen and homeware.

Said Ian, “We are looking forward to opening the shop in Portadown.

“We keep our options open when we are looking for potential sites so when the opportunity came up in Portadown we took it.”

The move is much-needed good news for Portadown with neighbouring department store, Menarys, having closed this week after 20 years.