Kells expand influence in Market Street

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The Northern Ireland-owned clothing chain of SD Kells has increased its presence in Portadown’s Market Street.

The firm has relocated its Regatta Clearance leisurewear outlet from West Street to premises just two doors away from the 5,000 square feet gents’ outfitters which they opened in the town a year ago.

The firm now employs around 10 people in its Portadown operations.

A spokesperson for the firm said that Market Street in Portadown had proven an excellent stand for the Kells organisation, and that the Regatta outlet being so near to the gents outfitters would mean they would complement one another.

The Regatta stock includes a wide range of gents’, ladies’ and children’s leisure, and it is one of six such stores under the Kells umbrella in Northern Ireland. The gents’ store which was opened in Portadown last year was their 11th mainstream store in Northern Ireland where they employ around 130 staff.

It’s a triple boost for the town centre – Kells last year moved into the premises vacated by Poundstretcher, next door is the recently-expanded Kabra ladies fashions (vacated by Menarys) and now comes Regatta.

The Kells family ‘empire’ is headquartered in Enniskillen. But it has a real Portadown, Market Street tradition. Founded in 1928 in Fermanagh, the second of the third generations – Roy Kells – served his time in Corbett’s 
departmental store, an epicentre of shopping in Mid Ulster.

He met his wife – formerly Shirley Hobson from Drumnahuncheon. And when he returned to his native Fermanagh, they were man and wife. They now take a back seat in the firm. Roy’s parents, Samuel David (hence the S.D.) and his wife Mary Mildred founded the company.

The spokesperson said, “We are doing well in Portadown and hence the decision to move the Regatta outlet to large premises in Market Street.”

It looks across the Market Street to the site where Corbetts once stood – but that building was destroyed by fire in the Troubles in the early 1970s.