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‘We’re pinching ourselves at being here’: Mum and daughter open new Lolo and Co shop on Aberdeen’s Union Street

The women's clothes outlet relocated to the Granite Mile amid major efforts to reverse its fortunes.

Rose and Lauren Reid at their new shop.
Rose and Lauren Reid at their new shop. Image: Kath Flannery/Roddie Reid

Mum and daughter duo Rose and Lauren Reid are still “pinching themselves” at opening their new shop on Aberdeen’s Granite Mile.

The ambitious pair started out their business by transforming a former cat cafe on the Netherkirkgate into the Lolo and Co women’s clothes shop in 2019.

Lauren, who studied law and management, has always had an interest in fashion and found the perfect partner by launching the boutique with her mum.

They spotted a gap in the market when it came to an independent outlet offering clothes for ladies of all ages.

The close mum and daughter beneath the sign in their new shop. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Last year, they began work on a big move onto Union Street by refurbishing a vape shop into a bigger, better (and more prominent) premises.

Now the Reids have thrown open the doors of their new home.

In an exclusive interview, they tell us:

  • How they may have ‘dodged a bullet’ by leaving the Netherkirkgate when they did
  • Why being on Union Street means so much to them
  • And how a grant scheme aimed at filling empty units helped persuade them to take the plunge

Lolo and Co open new Union Street shop

The pair are doing some last-minute vacuuming when we arrive on Thursday morning.

After months of preparation, this is their first day trading from the spot – and their excitement is infectious.

The Lolo and Co unit on Union Street offers more space for more options. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

So how have the last few months been, since we first chatted about the plans back in October?

Mum Rose tells us: “It’s been quite a laborious task, a bigger take-on than we thought…”

Hopes for a Christmas opening proved a bit too optimistic.

Lolo and Co has now opened on Union Street. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

But the pair praise the local trade firms that helped them turn the vape shop into something altogether more plush.

After months of work on the venue, it finally all came together this month.

This past Saturday, they moved the stock from their location near the bottom of the Granite Mile to their new spot at 226 Union Street.

What are Lolo and Co’s hopes for Union Street?

Since announcing the move last autumn, the mum and daughter have been encouraged by positive comments from customers.

And they hope to pick up a few new regulars now, too.

But it’s more than just that. The pair see being on Union Street as a bit of an honour.

Lauren explains: “It maybe sounds a bit cringe, but we never thought we would ever be on Union Street…”

Rose chips in: “We have to give ourselves a wee pinch!

“We feel we have come far to reach this point.”

There are options for various tastes. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

How Granite Mile move is ALREADY showing signs of promise

The Reids were recently encouraged by the success independent clothes shop Attic has enjoyed since moving to Union Street. 

Rose and Lauren reckon they are in a similar position, as Attic moved from a location tucked away in The Academy on Belmont Street to the more visible spot.

Lauren explained: “We are now right on one of the biggest junctions on Union Street, so we are in a prime area to be noticed.

“Just yesterday a lady popped her head in before we were even open.

“She had never heard of us before and was keen to have a look, even though we were standing there in our scrubs!

“The lady said she would be coming back.”

The pair in their old spot next to the Illicit Still. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

And she told us why they have moved “at the right time”.

After previously seeing a drop in footfall when John Lewis closed, they now fear the Netherkirkgate area will attract far fewer shoppers with the upcoming closure of the flagship Marks and Spencer.

Lauren added: “We wanted this anyway, but we now feel a bit like we have dodged a bullet.”

‘This is a huge jump for us’

But the pair are eager to stress that local businesses like theirs rely on the support of the city to stay alive.

“Getting people to shop local is the main thing,” Lauren explains.

“People say there are no shops left on Union Street, and that will come true without support.

“This is a huge jump for us, but we are really positive and determined to make it work.”

The new shop also comes with extra space to fit in more brands, and they recently added Penny Black to their range.

Rows of clothes… Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Do you think Lolo and Co will be a success in the city centre? Let us know in our comments section below

‘We want to give back to Union Street’

Leaning over their freshly-made counter, the mum and daughter praised the ongoing effort to rejuvenate Union Street, having successfully applied to a grant scheme to help cover refurbishment costs.

“That was definitely an incentive,” Lauren said.

Rose and Lauren are waiting to welcome customers. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Aside from that, they have had positive talks with the Our Union Street campaign group set up to rejuvenate the Granite Mile – which has just completed its first year.

Lauren added: “And we are happy to get out there and help too, we don’t mind mucking in and cleaning Union Street if that means more people will come!

“We want to look after our bit, for sure.”

It comes after we asked other traders about how they are surviving and thriving on Union Street:

‘I’ve taken on a second job to keep Aberdeen Geek Retreat dream alive – and loyal army of nerds is making it possible’

‘Shopping experience isn’t the same online’: Why Jamieson and Carry is spending millions to bring luxury to Union Street

Attic clothes shop owners on why Union Street gamble is paying off