YORK is about to get a new luxury lifestyle department store - complete with a champagne and coffee bar.

The Luxe Company is preparing to move into a shop in Coney Street which has lain empty for more than five years.

The new shop which will sell luxury homewares as well as lingerie and swimwear is scheduled to open next week in part of the former Wallis store - and is looking for staff to join the team.

Owners Lisa and Brian Marshall already have a store in Harrogate and a successful online business.

Lisa told The Press: "It is a huge investment. It's worked for us in Harrogate. We have luxury items at affordable prices and everybody needs a little bit of luxury in life."

Lisa says opening the new shop - which has four storeys - is a vote of confidence in Coney Street and the future of the high street.

"York is the right fit for us. We have been trying to find a property in York for two years - we wanted a place with character," she said.

Coney Street, York's historic main shopping thoroughfare, has witnessed many store closures in recent years - inline with many other parts of the country.

The street currently has nine empty shops but has also seen the arrival of seven new businesses in recent years - a sign of the changing face of the high street.

Bigger changes are to come. The Helmsley Group has unveiled its ‘Coney Street Riverside’ scheme, which imagines creating 250,000ft2 of mixed-use retail, leisure, commercial and residential space, a riverside walkway and open space for the public, both on the waterfront and between the Ouse and Coney Street.

York Press: The former Wallis shop in Coney Street which has lain empty for years but will now be a luxury lifestyle department story called The Luxe CompanyThe former Wallis shop in Coney Street which has lain empty for years but will now be a luxury lifestyle department story called The Luxe Company (Image: Newsquest)

Lisa said the plans "are going to bring life back to Coney Street." She added: "We think Coney Street is only going to get better. It's been awful but the plans are amazing and we want to be in at the early stage."

The new shop is scheduled to open on Friday, October 20 and will sell homewares and some Christmas gifts on the main ground floor.

But after Christmas, the full Luxe Company vision will be revealed - a champagne bar and coffee bar will open on the ground floor with a second bar upstairs. Goods will be sold across the four storeys. On sale will be items for the home, such as occasional tables, chairs, lamps, glassware and prints and photographs, as well as lingerie and swimwear from luxury brands.

There will be an area selling 'faux flowers' in a variety of colours and shapes.

Lisa believes people still want to buy from bricks and mortar shops. She said: "We need to see and touch things to appreciate the beauty of something - people still love shopping."

But she added that people needed an extra incentive to come out shopping. "You have to realise you can't be a one-trick pony - you have got to think so much more about giving an experience to the customer."

This is the reason why she is opening a champagne and coffee bar in the store which will also serve pastries in the morning and Spanish-style pintxos (rounds of bread with various toppings and small snacks).

There will also be photographic prints of images of York from the past on display that will be for sale.

Lisa also hopes to host local artists who will be able to show off their work on the expansive walls of the historic Georgian building.

She said she expected the new shop, when all the floors were fully open after Christmas, would have up to 20 staff. She is currently recruiting.

She said: "We are looking for full and part-time people who have an interest in fashion or interior design."

To find out more about working for The Luxe Company call Lisa on 07812 115 875 or email: lisa@theluxecompany.co.uk.