A GERMAN fashion boutique is to open a store in Henley. Gerry Weber will move into the former Peruvian Connection premises in Bell Street.
The building, which is Grade II listed, has been empty since July when the American fashion boutique moved to King’s Road in Chelsea. Gerry Weber was founded in Halle, Westfalen, in 1973.
It initially produced and sold ladies’ underwear but has expanded to include shoes, fragrances, handbags and jewellery.
The new shop will have three full-time and five part-time employees.
A company spokeswoman said: “Henley is a beautiful town surrounded by beautiful countryside and we had the rare opportunity to acquire premises in Bell Street, a premier location, and are very much looking forward to bringing our collection to Henley.”
Town centre manager Peter McConnell said: “There are not that many Gerry Weber stores in the UK as they are mainly in Germany and Scandinavia so I am really pleased that they have chosen Henley to be one of their flagship stores.”
Gerry Weber UK has submitted a planning application to install two new advertising signs, one fascia and one hanging.
The alumnium fascia sign would measure 30cm by 2.7m and have black and brown text on a white background. The hanging sign would measure 60cm by 90cm with white text on a black and brown background.
On Tuesday, Henley Town Council’s planning committee recommended that the application is refused.
Councillor Sam Evans said: “In terms of the look and shape it looks incredibly smart and the colours are great but it is aluminium.
“My feeling is that we should refuse it but make contact with them and say ‘please amend your materials’.”
She added: “It is a lovely shop — it goes well with Henley.”
Councillor David Clenshaw said the Henley Society had also objected to the aluminium, saying the sign should be made from a natural material.
South Oxfordshire District Council will make a final decision by November 27.
Conservation officer Eddie Booth has raised no objection.