Department giant Debenhams today confirmed it will open a new flagship store in the heart of Shrewsbury creating 100 jobs after posting an inflation-busting increase in profits.
The 95,000sq ft new store will be one of 17 new outlets opening across the country as part of a massive expansion by the company which will create 1,700 new jobs.
Debenhams, which already has a store in Telford, revealed the expansion plan after announcing a 4.2 per cent jump in profits to £158.3m in the last 12 months.
The move - which will add more than £150 million in sales - comes on top of a nationwide store revamp programme which has seen 18 shops modernised over the past year.
The new Shrewsbury store will be the centrepiece of the £150million redevelopment of the Riverside Shopping Centre and cover 95,000 sq ft.
It will be joined by 50 other stores in the complex, which will create a total of 700 jobs and is expected to open in autumn 2015.
The centre will join together the existing Riverside, Pride Hill and Charles Darwin malls and also include office space, 10 restaurants and cafes.
Debenhams is also ramping up its overseas expansion drive, with plans to boost its international franchise by another 20 over the next four years and increase online orders to a further 30 countries.
The group said the higher-than-inflation rise in profits for the year to September 1 was powered by a recent sales revival.
Exclusive ranges from a star line-up of fashion designers - including Henry Holland and Julien MacDonald - helped the group grow its share of the competitive womenswear market, with group-wide like-for-like sales up 1.6 per cent excluding VAT over the year.