Founder of WAGS-beloved Cricket store says store “was lucky to survive lockdown”
The owner of Cricket fashion store in Liverpool has shared the secret to her boutique’s success for 30 years – but admits the lockdown has left WAGS ‘beloved boutique’ vulnerable ‘.
Cricket, a high fashion staple in the city that first opened in 1991, has been put on the map by Coleen Rooney and other WAGS – wives and friends of footballers -, who were rarely photographed without a bag from the early 2000s boutique.
Two decades later, the store is still standing, having survived the pandemic despite the lack of an online presence, which has seen fewer stores disappear.
Owner Justine Mills, who opened Cricket with partner Gerry Mannix, told the Sunday opening hours she had kept the store afloat through difficult months – often delivering the goods herself.
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Justine Mills and Gerry Mannix, the duo behind Liverpool’s Cricket Store, popular with local and visiting WAGs. Justine said the store was lucky to survive the lockdown without its own website
Thanks Coleen! The future Mrs Rooney, pictured, put the store on the map in 2003 when she was pictured with a cricket sack at the age of 16 She is still a regular buyer.
A fan: Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful was a “big sounding board” for the entrepreneur
The fashion entrepreneur also revealed that she was a long-time acquaintance with British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, whom she met 15 years ago and who she said was a “big boxer of resonance “for the store.
Speaking of her northern clientele, Mills applauded their fearless nature, saying: “The Liverpool girls don’t care about making mistakes, because they think, ‘Well, if that doesn’t work, there’s always the weekends. -end next. “
She admits she was lucky to have survived the lockdown without a website.
âI’ve been streaming groups on WhatsApp, so when new shipments come in I send photos to all of my customers and they come back to me with orders,â says Mills.
She added that at the height of the pandemic, she and her partner Gerry were driving around to drop orders because it was the only way for them to work.
The store is currently working on its very first website, which is expected to launch this fall.
Cricket was put on the map by Coleen Rooney when she was pictured with a bag from the store at just 16, around the same time her then-boyfriend Wayne Rooney, also 16, , made his international debut for England in 2003.
This brought an influx of glamorous WAGs into the store, which made it their go-to spot for cheerful designer rags.
In the early 2000s, stars including actress Jennifer Ellison flocked to the store to get their hands on designer clothes.
Speaking of that time, Mills said his shop was photographed daily by paparazzi during the 2006 World Cup.
But even now that the media circus has evolved, the store has retained its cult following thanks to Mills’ craftsmanship.
The owner said she likes to focus all of her attention on the customers who visit her store and exhaust all their wishes.
And although she still sells designer clothes with enticing price tags, Mills, who comes from a working-class background, said anyone can be a potential customer and shouldn’t think they have to have a certain appearance to be well served in his store.
Football always attracts customers who flock to the store on match day, whether they are from Ireland or London, or any other Premier League club.
The store’s signature bags were regularly patted down in the early 2000s, when WAGs like Coleen Rooney and Alex Gerrard, pictured in 2007, were shopping.
She said Coleen Rooney was still a client and came regularly with her family, including her four boys, and said it had been nice to follow her trip.
As a young girl, Justine said she loved shopping with her father and was already interested in fashion.
She met Gerry Mannix at the age of 15, when they both worked in retail. At the time, Justine was considering going to university and becoming a journalist or television researcher.
The store opened as a men’s clothing store in 1991 when Justine was only 17 and then introduced women’s clothing. In 2019, a few months before the coronavirus pandemic hit, they moved to a larger store in the Metquarter Mall.