A QUIRKY and much-loved homewares shop in York is set to reopen after a major refit.

The Imaginarium, which opened it's homeware emporium next to its sister shop Yorkshire Soap Company in Blake Street in 2013 is set to reopen officially on Saturday (June 29) having been closed for a £100,000 revamp.

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The business is the brain-child of well-known York businessmen Marcus Doyle and Warren Booth, who own the Yorkshire Soap Company nextdoor and The Society of Alchemists in Shambles.

When it opened the Imaginarium took the place of a former dry cleaners, which had stood empty for a number of years and the refit is the first since it opened.

"We have kept the character but are making it a nicer shopping experience - a lot of the time people don't know what's for sale and what's on display," said Marcus.

"We have kept the fairground horses and the black and gold theme."

The shop is full of curiositiesThe shop is full of curiosities (Image: Supplied)

An eye-catching addition is new giant wasp lighting from Thailand, three of which are part of the display, and seven will be going on sale.

The Society of Alchemists opened in November 2022 in the long-empty former Zatchels shop in Shambles.

"York is a great city to do business. In the last two years we have opened The Society of Alchemists which must have cost us between £650,000 and £700,000, last year we refurbished the soap shop at a cost of about £150,000 and now were spending about £100,000 on The Imaginarium," said Marcus.

 Denise Millington, store manager, and Mads De Krester, assistant managerDenise Millington, store manager, and Mads De Krester, assistant manager (Image: Supplied)

"We are a local employer investing in York, we have about 12 full and part-time staff at The Imaginarium, and 18 at Yorkshire Soap and 18 at The Society of Alchemists. We also have a retail operations manager, Greg Adams and our operations manager, Alison Bell running everything from James Street," he said.

"We manufacture the vast majority of our products here in York - about 70 per cent of the products we sell in our shops is made in James Street in York.

"The Imaginarium hasn't sold things made by us up to this point, but now, for the first time we will be selling our perfumes, fragrance, hand creams, lip balms and candles made in York."

The black and gold theme has stayedThe black and gold theme has stayed (Image: Supplied)

The re-opening will be particulary poignant as it will be the first time Warren's mum, Brenda Giles, won't be there as she recently passed away aged 78.

Marcus said: "Brenda has been to every shop opening for the last 18 years, we joked it wasn’t open till Brenda arrived. We sadly lost Brenda on Sunday after a brief illness, she is Warren's mum and my mother-in-law, she will be missed on Sunday and we dedicate this to you."

The Imaginarium is open seven days a week from 10am-6pm.

Marcus and Warren in the factoryMarcus and Warren in the factory (Image: Supplied)