Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group is stepping into the high street temple by opening three giant flagship stores for its designer fashion chain Flannels – and is planning 15 more over the next five years.
The former House of Fraser at Meadholl Shopping Center in Sheffield and the Owen Owen department store in Liverpool will become flannels outlets, as well as a new development site at Leicester Foss Park Shopping Center.
The seven-story, 120,000-square-foot (11,148-square-meter) Liverpool store will include a fitness studio, rooftop restaurant and a beauty hall, which will be new ventures for Flannel. Stores in Sheffield and Leicester will also be larger than 30,000 square feet – twice the size of the flannel flagship on Oxford Street in London – and will also be in beauty halls and fitness studios.
“We don’t have a comparative appetite for the kind of luxury we do well,” said Michael Murray, Fraser’s “top man.” He added that highways want destination stores with experience on offer. “We recognize that communities are welcoming exciting, much-needed additions with open arms on their high streets,” he said.
The company said the outlets would be “next-generation stores”, describing them as “modern, smart retail spaces” providing new and emerging brands as well as “runway collections”.
Liverpool and Meadowhole outlets were expected to be transformed into the group’s upmarket Frasers department store brand, dropping questions into plans for the mini-chain, five of which were created for opening this year.
Despite the fact that 2020 is a deadly year for such retail spaces, the idea of opening three luxury department stores effectively. The Ashley House of Fraser chain closed seven stores last year, taking a total of 45. John Lewis has shut down eight and Debenhams who are in the administration and has already shut down 40 in anticipation of a rescue deal from Fraser.
Flannels, which, like most luxury trainers, sells luxury streetwear for more than 500 500 or Stone Island sweatshirts for 2 220, has proved an apparent success – expanding from 12 stores to 40 stores in four years.
Marion Hinton, a retail analyst at GlobalData, said the giant Flannels store plan was a “high risk” for the UK’s retail threat. He said other luxury department stores like Selfridge and Harvey Nichols have fought outside London.
“Selfies are a luxury retailer and they know a lot about not bothering to open more. [stores outside London] Indicates that there is a limit to what you can do, ”Hinton said.