Dec 16, 2020
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Frasers takes on N Ireland Debenhams store, next-gen Birmingham space for Sports Direct

Dec 16, 2020

Frasers Group is continuing to focus on physical retail space as it take over a key soon-to-be empty Debenhams store and opens a next-generation Sports Direct flagship that also integrates other brands into its giant space.

This is how the new Sports Direct should look

No offer for Debenhams has yet been made by Frasers Group but the company will take over the failed chain’s department store at Foyleside Shopping Centre in Londonderry.

Mike Ashley, who’s CEO of the House of Fraser department store owner, said the move would create 200 jobs. Debenhams currently has five Northern Ireland stores and employs 700 people there.

Property specialist Savills, which handled the deal, said there was a “limited pool of end users for this space” and it therefore “pursed Frasers and successfully struck a deal to sell the freehold interest”.

It also said that “bringing Frasers to Foyleside is a massive positive for the centre and the city as a whole. This will replace Debenhams with a new relevant retail offering to the centre together with a huge investment to refit the property which we hope will include the store’s aspirational Flannels fashion hall.”

Fergal Rafferty Foyleside Shopping Centre Manager also said the move was a boost to retail in the area in a difficult trading environment. This significant investment will reinforce Foyleside as the top regional shopping destination in the North West”.

Meanwhile, Frasers Group has also revealed its plans for a 60,000sq ft Sports Direct flagship in Birmingham city centre as it continues to open giant flagships around the UK.

The four-storey next-gen store will open next spring on New Street. As well as being  a key Sports Direct location, it will also house its USC, Evans Cycles and Game brands, plus a Belong e-sports arena.

The company said it’s a sign of its confidence in its elevation strategy and its commitment to opening premium retail destinations across Britain. 

It will be its “most advanced store to date offering our multiple sporting and lifestyle brands alongside specialised services and leisure facilities”.

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