With  pieces  designed by Ralph Lauren and Armani, the first shoppers at a new store opening at the Middlebook Retail and Leisure Park may be forgiven for thinking they were in a high end fashion store, rather than a charity shop.

Regenerage – previously known as Age Concern Central Lancashire – will open the new store on Wednesday (20 March) at Middlebrook Retail and Leisure Park, the first to be launched under the brand’s new moniker.

The store stocks clothes designer pieces  - without the hefty price tag.

Examples include Cynthia Rowley pieces ranging from £23.99, a Precis jacket was £15 and Bloomingdale bags for just £4.99.

The Bolton News: Regenerage

Influencer Becky Chorlton was at the store to give The Bolton News a sneak peak before the store opens.

Becky, from Alderley Edge, said: "I love charity shopping, and I've seen something my boyfriend would love. There's a wedding dress that caught my eye as soon as I walked to the bridal section. Thrifting is so much fun. You could just get a haul here."

The Bolton News: Bel Fry

A specially created bridal and occasional wear department will also give customers the chance to pick up the perfect pre-loved items for upcoming weddings and proms, with many items being donated after just one wear.

The store itself has the feel of a plush department store.

The 10,958 sq ft store, which will create 11 jobs, offers shoppers a wide range of options, from ladies and menswear to homeware, furniture and children’s clothing, plus books and new white goods including washing machines and fridge freezers.

Director, Bel Fry said: “We’re incredibly excited to be finally opening the doors of our new superstore.

"It is the largest store we have ever launched and the whole team has worked tirelessly to make it stand out from the crowd.

"I have been blown away by the quality of items coming through the doors and it is a real testament to the generosity and kind-heartedness of local people for the range of products we are able to offer customers.

“This is a dream come true for me as I’ve always been in retail, and this is my tenth store.

“But to go large like this, I’m just so excited to see how it will grow and develop.

“What we pride ourselves on is providing high quality products at affordable prices.”

The Bolton News: Regenerage

It is the tenth store from Age Concern but the first superstore and under the new name Regenerage.

Though it may have been a challenge to get the space, Regenerage reassured the landlord it would not be ‘cardboard boxes’ with handwritten signs on.

Bel said: “Lots of people come into our other stores and say, oh is this a charity shop?

“And this retail park is phenomenal, it’s massive. It’s huge and so it’s a real fist pump moment being here.”

As well as clothes, people can find furniture, books, house ornaments, and gifts.

The Bolton News: Becky Chorlton

Bel hopes the new ‘look’ will remove the stigma around charity thrifting and allow people like influencer, Becky, to show how trendy it has become.

Bel said: “We are living in a more sustainable world so pre-loved now is fashionable, whereas when I first started this job, there was a bit of stigma with charity shops and influencers love to find a bargain.

“Over 50 percent of the charity’s income now comes form retail sales as funding becoming less and harder to achieve.

“The charity needs more sustainable income coming in and confidence that we can deliver the services.”

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The official launch is on Wednesday, March 20, where stilt walkers will put on a display.

As part of the grand opening, anyone purchasing an item on the day will be entered into a special prize draw with the chance to win a £50 voucher to spend in-store, while the first 100 customers through the doors will be given a free branded tote bag.

The Bolton News: Regenerage

There will be celebrations a plenty with stilt walkers and red carpet. Shoppers will be encouraged to tag the charity on their social channels for the chance to win a special prize, too.

Regenerage operates three activity day centres giving local people the opportunity to learn new skills, have fun and make friends in safe and comfortable surroundings.

Dedicated to enhancing the lives of older people across Lancashire, Regenerage champions personal choice, dignity and independence, and is now set on extending its reach.  

From dementia support to physical fitness and social activities, these services are designed to help combat loneliness, provide respite for family or carers and empower older people to enjoy life. 

The Bolton News: Regenerage

The charity also provides at-home care services and works in partnership with specialists to provide financial and legal advice, plus support with safety devices and medical aids.

Suzanne Carr, CEO of Regenerage, added: “We are moving into an exciting new chapter as we rebrand and expand our reach into other parts of the North West, and we are extremely grateful for the ongoing support we receive from local people.

“The services we provide for older people are vital to both the individual and their loved ones and the success of our retail stores ensures that we can continue to offer these services.

“We’re confident that customers from the local area – and beyond – will not be disappointed with our new offering at Middlebrook and we can’t wait to showcase what we have in store for them."

The new Regenerage store opens at 10am on Wednesday 20 March.