While most new stores were launched at the Westgate Centre in 2017 following a major revamp some brands did not open shops until much later.

This included beauty brand L’Occitane and fashion chain Urban Outfitters.

Blackwell’s Westgate bookshop was opened by celebrity chef Nigella Lawson in 2017 but has not yet reopened after the coronavirus lockdown.

Oxford Mail:

Nigella Lawson

Following the reopening of the chain's art and poster store in Broad Street, the bookseller has said the Westgate branch will be reopening soon although it has not yet given a precise date.

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While Urban Outfitters opened in December 2018, it was not until last summer that French beauty brand switched from Cornmarket to a new spacious unit at the Westgate Centre with an entrance on Queen Street.

Oxford Mail:

Cutting the ribbon at the new L'Occitane store

After six years in Cornmarket, the chain, which specialises in hand creams and other skin care products, now has an eye-catching shop opposite Bonn Square.

The chain's retail property and wholesale director Jamie Taylor was there in July to cut the ribbon and welcome customers.

He said at the time: "Oxford is a key strategic city for us.

"The store's position at the Westgate Centre means we have the best of both worlds - we are part of the centre and on the high street.

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"Once Westgate opened we starting working towards this opportunity.

"We have messaged all our customers from Cornmarket to let them know we are now open at Westgate."

Oxford Mail:

Inside L'Occitane at the Westgate

Mr Taylor said the store's upper frontage has been designed as a tribute to the city's Botanic Garden.

A Provence in Oxford hand cream was been launched to celebrate the chain's links with the city.

The business began in the markets of Provence.

Oxford Mail:

Jamie Taylor

With nothing but a small truck and a solid knowledge of plants, a 23-year-old named Olivier Baussan began distilling rosemary essential oil to sell locally.

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He expanded his production from oils to soaps to creams, taking inspiration from the region he grew up in.

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