Ten reasons why it’s worth checking out Sandersons – the beautiful new department store in Sheffield
It will hardly come as a surprise to hear us say that we like online shopping – after all, we do run a website featuring lots of online fashion stores!
That said, we still love a good day out mooching around the actual shops, with a chance to see and touch potential purchases, try on anything that takes our fancy, and be able to take it home with us there and then. If the shopping trip includes coffee (or something stronger) and a bit of pampering to make us feel good, well, that’s all the better.
So, we were thrilled to be invited to the recent opening of Sandersons, a new boutique department store at Fox Valley in Stocksbridge, just in the north of Sheffield. Needless to say, we were very impressed – so if your experience of department stores is brown carpets, strip lights and dodgy canteens, be prepared to think again.
You can read a detailed review of Sandersons – and see lots more pictures – over at this link here, but here are our top ten reasons why Sandersons is well worth fashion-lovers making the trip to South Yorkshire.
1. The store is just gorgeous
A double-height entrance, loads of natural light, comfy sofas to sit on, cool exposed-brick walls – Sandersons department store is definitely more trendy New York loft than fusty Grace Brothers.
Step through the glass double doors into the beautiful store and you’ll feel like you’ve entered a shopping palace fit for a princess (or a prince).
2. It’s got fabulous Inglot make-up
Polish cosmetics brand Inglot is known for its bold, bright colours, including an amazing 400 shades of nail polish. Until now, though, UK shoppers have only been able to buy it at a couple of big London shopping centres or online.
But no more! Head to Sandersons and you’ll find the colourful and welcoming Inglot counter right at the entrance, with help on hand to choose the make-up, lipstick or nail polish that suits you best.
3. Ethical and organic brands are centre stage
We all want to look our best, but we also want the products that we use to be good for our skin and the environment, right?
Sandersons is right on the case here as well, with a real focus on beauty products that are organic and cruelty-free. Head over to the counter for skincare brand SKN-RG and you’ll find a beautiful range of cleaners, exfoliators, moisturisers and more, all using organic and natural ingredients, and inspired by the science of how our skin functions and repairs. And again, it’s a range you won’t usually find on the high street.
If you’re interested in all the science and innovation behind the products, there’s lots of interesting detail on the SKN-RG website. We were chatting to SKN-RG’s founders, Deborah and Robert Scott, instore, and hopefully we can tell you a bit more about the brand in a future blog – fingers crossed!
4. You can meet Armand Beasley (he’s a celebrity)
Sandersons has its own Beauty Lounge, dedicated to making sure that every customer gets five-star treatment in the store’s bespoke cosmetics department.
Most exciting of all, it’s headed up by the store’s fabulous Beauty Ambassador, international skincare expert, make-up artist and presenter Armand Beasley, who you might have seen on ITV’s This Morning, or in the pages of Grazia or Vogue.
Book a consultation with Armand and you can be made up by the same hands that have worked their magic on celebrities like Goldie Hawn, Sophie Anderton and Kym Marsh. Naturally, Armand’s jetsetting lifestyle means he can’t be at Sandersons all the time, so be sure to check the website for the latest availability and book in advance.
5. Our favourite ladies’ fashion brands are there
You probably know us well enough by now to realise that we’re big fans of fashion brands like Phase Eight and Joules – both of which we feature here at the Fashion & Style Directory, and keep bigging up in our Twitter and Facebook updates.
So, we were thrilled to find both those favourites inside Sandersons’ 5,000 sq ft womenswear department, alongside other top labels such as Barbour and White Stuff. We loved the Scandi-chic of the ranges from Danish brands Part Two and Masai as well. Oh, and don’t get us started on the stunning bags and shoes from Moda in Pelle…
6. …and there are clothes for the guys too
Don’t worry, gents! Though nearly all of Sandersons’ gorgeous first floor is filled with womenswear, there’s a 1,000 sq ft menswear department on the ground floor, stocking top brands Joules, Barbour, Gant and Ted Baker.
7. The staff are lovely
Call us old-fashioned, but if we’re going to go into a real shop rather than an online one, we always appreciate a friendly welcome. After all, if there’s going to be no human interaction we might as well just shop online in the first place.
Happily, there’s no such trouble at Sandersons. Led by the lovely store manager Lisa Fox, Sandersons has more than 20 staff, and the ones we chatted to on the opening day were all fantastic – warm, smart and enthusiastic. It’s exactly what you need if customers are to have a wonderful and enjoyable experience instore!
8. The homewares are fabulous as well
OK, we realise that homewares are more the domain of our sister site, the Home Interiors Directory. Entice us with wooden spoons, funky-print aprons and retro clocks, though, and we just can’t help but be allured.
9. There’s a wonderful tearoom
If you’re from Tyneside (like us), you’ll know that Blakes on Grey Street is a bit of an institution, loved by Geordies for its decent coffee, hearty breakfasts and cosy, hipster vibe. And it’s been a one-off – until now.
Yes, Sandersons has only gone and bagged the first Blakes outside Newcastle as its instore tearoom, serving (among other things) hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, light bites and (booked in advance!) afternoon teas.
Forget your typical department store caff, shoved into a windowless corner by the loos – Blakes at Sandersons is in a prime spot at the front of the first floor, and has managed to recreate the lovely atmosphere of the original Newcastle coffee house, while embracing the overall Sandersons look and feel. So, in other words it’s bright, spacious, oozing quality, and perfect for watching the world go by outside!
10. There are some other great shops nearby
OK, this isn’t strictly speaking a reason to visit Sandersons itself, but while you’re there it would be rude not to look in on the other fashion attractions at Fox Valley.
There are some more of our favourite high-street names there – including Peacocks, M&Co and (opening on 19 October) Next – plus fab Cornish fashion brand Seasalt with its first standalone store in South Yorkshire. And don’t miss the great independents lining the street on the way into Fox Valley, including Champleys Shoes, Foxy Nails, Sorelle Jewellery, and childrenswear shop Little Poppets.
Find out more
Have we whetted your appetite and made you want to visit Sheffield? Excellent! To help plan your trip, both Sandersons and Fox Valley have comprehensive websites with all the information you need, including opening times and contact details, and both are very active on Twitter at @SandersonsStore and @FoxValleySheff respectively. There are also Facebook pages, of course: Fox Valley’s here, and Sandersons’ here.
Be sure to give them both a like, and tell them we sent you! And if you do pop instore, be sure to tag us in your pics on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – we’re @FSDFashionTips on all three networks. We’d love to hear what you think (and see what you buy)!