The rise of Redbrick Mill

A selection of products from Made.comA selection of products from
A selection of products from
Yorkshire’s interiors mecca is attracting shoppers from all over the North and far beyond. Sharon Dale reports on the rise of Redbrick Mill.

Building an interiors mecca in an old textile mill in Batley seemed an unlikely idea for a business when it was first mooted.

But the pioneers who turned Redbrick Mill into a destination outlet 15 years ago have proved that quality, critical mass and free parking are a winning combination.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The “department store for homeware” now attracts shoppers from all over the North and beyond and its reach is widening thanks to the recent expansion of

The best-selling Rufus sofa from Made.comThe best-selling Rufus sofa from
The best-selling Rufus sofa from

The company opened a showroom at Redbrick 18 months ago and has just doubled its size to cover most of the top floor. Would-be buyers are now travelling from London and the south for a chance to see Made’s furniture and accessories in the “flesh”.

Although it initially launched as an online trader, Made soon realised that many customers wanted to test for substance and comfort before buying, so it opened a small London showroom, followed by a second at Redbrick. The success of their Yorkshire venture prompted the expansion, which now provides capacity to accommodate 85 per cent of its products. Topping the best-sellers list is the three seater Rufus sofa, £599.

“There is a showroom in London but the one here is much bigger. It’s 11,000 sq ft so we have people travelling up from London and the south to see the range. They especially like to test the sofas, which are an important emotional purchase,” says Nicola Orrell, Redbrick’s marketing and retail operations manager.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Made, which has seen an 85 per cent growth in sales in Yorkshire since opening the showroom, has attached Cloud tags to its products so you can create a wish list. Simply tap the items with a Made tablet device and it emails you the details, including dimensions and price, so you can order online from home or from the in-store computer.

Lighting from Heal's at Redbrick MillLighting from Heal's at Redbrick Mill
Lighting from Heal's at Redbrick Mill

Other big hitting brands that bring footfall to Redbrick include Heal’s, Content by Conran, Hulsta, Calligaris, MultiYork, Kelly Hoppen and BoConcept.

Visitors are also attracted to the independent shops, like Funktionalley, best known for its exciting Scandinavian furniture and accessories, and Ice Interiors which specialises in contemporary homeware.

Another big draw is the Devoted To section run by Simon Curran. Here you can find work by emerging designers and artists like Emily Butterill of Glow Lighting, Haworth-based furniture maker Anthony Hartley, Wakefield artist Rebecca Appleby and cushions and prints by Charlotte North. Then there are cafes, an art gallery and a spa plus exhibitions and events. Add it all together and you have a full day out.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It is incredible how we have developed over the years,” says Nicola Orrell, who is busy promoting the autumn winter collections. Lighting plays a major part in this season’s offering.

“Lighting is doing phenomenally well at Redbrick. We have an amazing range across the store. That’s another great thing about this place. There is nowhere else where you can see so many interiors brands under one roof. You can buy a table from one store and team it with ighting from another. Our customers love that.”

* Redbrick Mill in Batley was launched in 2000 by Stephen Battye and Christopher Bullus who wanted it to become a destination outlet.

Now run by MD Alastair Bailey, it is one of the North’s most popular retail attractions thanks to a host of top interiors brands and independent stores.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It got the ultimate seal of approval from Sir Terence Conran who visited and said: “There are not many department stores that have such a substantial and interesting homewares offer under one roof.”