Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis visited the intu Watford shopping centre yesterday to open the newest branch of his lingerie business, Boux Avenue.

He spent the day meeting customers and media before cutting a ribbon at 1pm.

The chain, which launched in 2011, offers customers affordable fashion and comprehensive customer service.

But with the country gripped by the aftermath of an economic downturn, what can a niche business do to keep money coming into the tills?

Mr Paphitis said: “Watford is a major trading area, and it was on our hit-list, it just took a while to get the right store at the right price.

“With each store we open we employ about 20 people, and it also creates further jobs at head office, e-commerce and everywhere else.

“They are probably one of the few people on the High Street that can properly measure, and make sure you are fitted properly.”

All but one of Boux Avenue’s shops are located in large shopping centres, rather than on the High Street.

Mr Paphitis said: “This is a wonderful store, it looks hugely expensive but the product is very affordable. The means we need volume, we need good footfall, and Watford has that.

“The High Street has specific problems, it has been hit purely by the way we’ve changed our lifestyle, it’s been hit by bad planning, by rates which are ridiculous, in some cases more expensive than your rent, and you can’t park. Once we deal with those things, the High Street will come back.

The Dragons’ Den star said Watford had been on his ‘hit-list’ for a while.

“Watford has similar problems, the High Street needs to address our changing lifestyles, which are absolutely to do with changing technology.”

The changing rooms also emulate day, dusk and night with clever lighting controls

watford Observer

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